Do you have peace? I’m not talking about peace in your circumstances but peace in your soul. The peace Jesus assured for His followers when He said, “Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.”(John 14:27).
Name your price. If someone were to offer you a million dollars in exchange for that peace, would you take it? Of course not. Yet because Jesus also says, “Do not let…” this implies that we have the power of choice in the matter. To let or not let. Living in a fallen world, we will, by default, experience varying degrees of troubles and fears, but He says, “Do not let…”
I recently had quite an ordinary but good example of how easy it is to “let” rather than “do not let!”. I made a deal with myself at the start of this year. No glancing at my phone in the mornings until I have spent time in God’s Word and had my morning devotion. It’s just my personal application of “seek first the kingdom…” and works for me (when I stick to it!).
But the other morning, as I went past the table where my phone was charging, temptation got the better of me. I had a quick glance at the screen. A notification from work. Despite it being my day off, I opened the message. Immediately any peace I’d had just one minute earlier was replaced by frustration at what the message contained and the impact it would cause.
I came out to the kitchen where my husband was eating his breakfast and moaned, “This is exactly why I shouldn’t look at my phone first!”
My husband wisely told me there was nothing I could do right now, and with some more sage advice, he left to go to work.
Everything within me wanted to reply to that message right then and there. But I had a choice. It was my day off! Was I going to let this situation play on my mind, or could I put it aside and stubbornly regain my peace by walking into that living room and having my quiet time devotion despite my irritation?
Here’s where the “Do not let…” comes in. I chose the latter, and just as Jesus promised, peace came back. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7, emphasis mine).
We expect to have to fight to get our peace back when we are bombarded with big stressful events. But sometimes, it’s the little unexpected irritations that sneak up on us that steal our peace away.
“Do not let…” says Jesus.
What’s your price for peace?
Something to ponder!
(Can you spot the bird peacefully resting on her eggs in her nest despite the surrounding waters in the image above?)
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