Day Sixteen: The Promise of Peace

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you, I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”    John 14:27

This has become one of my most treasured pieces of God’s Word.  I memorized this verse when I was younger, not realizing that it would be the verse that I would constantly recite.  This verse is THE verse I say to remind myself that God gives me peace.

What is the opposite of peace?

Fear.

I let fear take control of my life for many years.  It robbed me of joy.  It stole from me the peace that God gives.  It took away the happiness of my life.  Fear was in the driver’s seat.  And it sure did a good job of running me off the road that leads to peace.

But, I learned to fight back.  I learned that “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of sound mind.”  1 Timothy 1:7.    God created me to have the peace that only He gives.  He did not create me to live a worrisome, fearful life. He wants me to live a happy, peaceful life where my sole focus is on Him, not the situation that I am in or the trouble that is causing me to be fearful.

Let’s break down this verse a little.  First, Jesus says that He is leaving peace with us.  Peace is not something we have to go to the ends of the world to search for.  No, it’s right here with us.  Peace is found in God who is present with us on this earth.  Right now.  That peace is present with us in the form of the Holy Spirit (which we will talk about next week).

Then Jesus says that He GIVES us this peace.  We don’t earn His peace.  We don’t buy His peace.  We don’t have to do all these great and marvelous things in order to get this peace.  No, He freely gives it to us.

This peace He gives to us is not given to us like the world gives.  The world would say that peace is found in money.  The world would say that peace is found in having a lot of nice things.  The world would say that peace is found in anything but Jesus.  But friends, we know that the world is not right.  We aren’t going to receive peace by obtaining all these things or by doing good deeds.  The only way we are going to have peace is by knowing Jesus Christ as our Savior.

When we do know Jesus and we are faced with worry, fear, anxiety, tragedies, and other bad things, we can recite this verse and know that God will give us this promised peace.  It brings calm to my worried soul.

One of the times I have felt this peace of God came back in December.  Since I am now 40 I have to have mammograms every year.  (Oh joy!).  Several days after it, I got the dreaded phone call.  The one no woman likes to get:  “We need you to come back for a second mammogram and possible ultrasound.”  The only thing going through my mind were the worst possible thoughts.  They consumed me and I felt anything but peace.  With a mother who had breast cancer, and knowing that I could possibly have it too, I began to worry and worry and worry.

But then I decided to trust God with this.  I began praying this Scripture of John 14:27.  I inserted my name to help me know that “Peace I leave with you, Vanessa.  My peace I give to you, Vanessa.  I do not give as the world gives, Vanessa.  Do not be worried, and do not be afraid, Vanessa.”  I also carried a pocket cross and held it in my hand.  This was a reminder to me that God was present with me in that room.  And another thing I did was sing (in my head).  As I waited and waited, I just sang some worship songs.  Doing all of these things that day brought me the peace of God in a way that is sometimes hard to explain.  Just a true sense of peace.  And I was not afraid…no matter what the outcome might be.

At the doctor’s office that day, the second mammogram still showed a place about 9mm.  So the radiologist wanted to do an ultrasound. During the ultrasound, the technician told me what she was looking for.  As she went over and over the breast, she looked confused.  Then she told me that she didn’t see anything.  She could not find the 9mm place that showed up on my first 2 mammograms.  It wasn’t there.  I don’t think technicians are supposed to tell you anything, but I firmly believe that her voice was a comforting reminder from the Lord that all would be ok.

After she left to show the radiologist, time seemed to drag on. (And this is when I sang).  Finally she came back in with the good news that it looked to be benign breast tissue and the radiologist found no need to do anything.  Although, he did want me to come back in 6 months instead of a year for another diagnostic mammogram.  But, I won’t be afraid and I won’t be consumed with fear or worry.  Because if I ever receive bad news, I know that my God gives me peace and we will get through it together.

Are you experiencing a time in your life when worry, fear, stress, and uncertainty are taking control of you?  My hope is that you will take this verse and begin praying it.  Allow the peace of God to flow through you.  When you do this, you will feel that calming sense of peace that flows like a river through your soul.

Prayer:  Prince of Peace, we come before You today with our fears and worries.  We are tired of allowing them to control us.  We boldly ask for You to give us this peace that You so freely give.  May it course through our mind and our body and give us a true sense of peace that only You can provide.  Hear our prayers for peace today, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal

  1.  What is robbing you of peace these days?
  2.  What can you do to let go of the fear and worry that consumes you?
  3.  As you write down your fears and worries, pray for God to replace them with His peace.  Then take a Sharpie and write over it in big letters, “Peace”.  This can be a visual to you that the worry and fear are gone and God has replaced it with His peace.

 

 

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