Debbie Salter Goodwin
More Peace, Please!
Peace in a Pandemic: Part 3
When Jesus is our focus, peace comes from Him.
I hope you are discovering that peace isn't something we make for ourselves. It is the gift Jesus promised so we would not become disillusioned by our broken world. and reach for a substitute peace.
Let's look at one more misunderstanding before I share two actions that deliver a peace the world cannot give.
5. Peace is the calm after giving up a struggle.
Not necessarily. It depends on what the struggle was about. There is a release that comes when we fight for our way and get it, but it is an artificial peace. A fake. A masked enemy of the peace that Jesus gives. How many times had Jesus warned the disciples that the world wouldn’t play nice? He told them outright that his coming wouldn’t bring world peace . . . not yet. But it would bring personal peace that would settle them when everything around was unsettling. It is costly because we give up our prerequisites for peace to accept Jesus’ Presence to be our peace.
I still remember when I fought this battle the hardest, wanting a specific answer to something so I could have peace about it. Sound familiar? It’s the wrong fight. Jesus never promised us answers; He promised us peace. When I learned that the very presence of Jesus was the peace my heart needed, I could live the questions without answers because I was living with the One who had them.
Always remember that Jesus’ peace comes as his Presence. He becomes the first answer to any search for peace.
How do we receive the peace that defies understanding? I have two good words for you. However, we can’t just add them to our vocabulary. They have to become our life’s rudder so they can steer us to the peace that helps us find and live Jesus’ will.
If peace seems out of our reach because of circumstances out of our control, it’s time for our own version of the Gethsemane prayer. We can tell Jesus what we want; then, we must surrender it. Give it up and see what Jesus wants to do with it. Don’t manipulate arguments to prove a side. Jesus didn’t. And though he asked desperately for another way, when he received the “no” from God; he knew it was time to give his Father the “yes” of complete surrender. He left resolute with peace from his Father that was so sustaining nothing in the torturous hours to follow turned him away.
Jesus wants us to have that same peace.
Surrender must lead to obedience in the heart so that it will produce the right actions to follow Jesus and his will. When our focus changes from what we wish could be true to wanting whatever truth Jesus brings, the struggle subsides. We let the will of Christ take charge where our will raised a fight. When we let go of the struggle, peace comes as the Personal Presence Jesus sent, His very Spirit. It is the peace we need, especially when circumstances around us are unpeaceful.
Jesus promises we can have his peace.
These are unsettling times and they are staying unsettled much longer than we wanted.
But . . .
There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God.
It is where we hear his whisper of encouragement. It is where we realize that his peace is our first answer, no matter the question.
Live under this blessing this day and every day.