Peace in an Uncertain World - Guidelines Devotional

Peace in an Uncertain World

January 3, 2018

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

Why are we always apprehensive about the future?  Because, we just don't know what's out there.  What lurking terrors await us?  What surprises are there?  We may whistle in the dark, or pretend we're unconcerned, but the reality is that our world will never go back to the days when things were normal--whatever that is.

As the cross was looming on the horizon, Jesus met with disciples in the Upper Room and said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"  (John 14:27).

The Greek word that Jesus used which we translate "to be troubled," also means to be disturbed, upset, bothered, or thrown into confusion.  It was used of water that had been roiled by a strong wind, water which churned and was unsettled.  "Hey," you say, "that's a picture of my life."

Mariano Godinez, a Manila stock broker and member of our Philippine board, said that when someone sneezes in York, you catch cold in Tokyo and Manila.  Why?  It's a global village.  What happens following a bombing in New York, London or Kabul has a ripple effect.  The fact is that no one dwells in security and safety anymore.  Walking down the street, you may be struck down by a stray bullet in a quiet neighborhood just as you might be while walking through the streets of the Arab sector of Jerusalem.

It isn't simply the issue of terrorism that causes our hearts to be troubled.  It's also the stock market, the environment, world leaders, global warming, and the economy.  If you want to worry, there's plenty to keep you busy.

None of this, however, came as a surprise to the one who told the disciples, "Don't be troubled; don't be afraid!"  OK, as we face the future, one filled with uncertainty, can we hold on to that simple promise made in Jerusalem the day Jesus was to be seized by a mob and taken to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest?

You can, and here's why.  The one who spoke those words was no mere mortal.  He was the unique fusion of both man and God.  He spoke the word and the raging storm stopped, and the waters grew quiet.  He's the one who healed the sick and even raised the dead.

Without taking time to develop my thoughts, may I give you three reasons why you can have peace in turbulent times?  First, you can have peace because of the power of Him who bestowed the great legacy on you.  Death could not hold Him.  He rose from the tomb and said, "Because I live; you shall live also!"  That takes away the fear of death.  The second reason you can have peace is because of His great promises.  Like what?  Like His statement, "I will never leave you or forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5), and a host of others.  And the third reason you can have peace is that God, not fate or chance or evil, is in control.

When you were a child and were reading a suspense story, you may have done what I used to do, go to the last chapter and find out how the book ends.  The last chapter is written in the book of Revelation.  There you will see this one who said, "My peace I give to you!" coming again, riding a white horse in triumph.

This is no make-believe story but a reality.

Resource reading: Philippians 4:4-9.

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