Yesterday we talked about knowing that we have the Lord’s presence with us always, even in our storms. Knowing that we have Him with us, should give us peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) As I meditated on this verse this morning, I thought about why I sometimes let my heart be troubled, and I came to the conclusion that when my eyes aren’t on Jesus, I become anxious. When I begin to think that I know what’s best for me, what steps to take, what I need in my life, I become anxious because I don’t have (fill in the blank).
And when I’m anxious I begin to doubt, just like the disciples did. “While they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?’” (Luke 24:36-38) Jesus had earlier appeared to Mary Magdalene and told her to tell the disciples where to wait for Him to appear. They knew He was coming, and yet they were anxious, troubled and had doubts. And these men physically walked with Jesus, personally saw Him perform miracles, and knew Him intimately.
First I must keep my eyes on Jesus; I must seek His face (will), not His hand (provision). “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6:33) And I must trust in Him, His character, His wisdom, and His plan and purpose, not my own. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5-6) Honestly, if I am not trusting in Him and His ways completely–He who created everything–then why would I have peace in knowing that He is with me always? Jesus has overcome the world, why would I doubt in Him? “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Because the enemy does everything he can to put doubts in our minds so that the world will not see the power of Christ. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) How can we protect our minds? “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Eph. 6:17)
And we learn to be content with what the Lord provides, and to be thankful. We continue to seek His will and walk in the steps He provides. “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:11-13) When we are thankful for what the Lord provides and keep our eyes on Jesus, the devil has no power to turn our thoughts to worldliness, idolatry, greed, and fleshly desires.
The peace Christ gives us is the only true peace we can have: knowing that we are heirs to God the Father through the blood of Jesus and that we will have eternal life with the Lord. Circumstances won’t always be easy, but the peace of Christ is not a “feeling”, it is the only hope we have. Let’s be thankful! “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:4-7)