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Look to Jesus – Day 9

Scripture for Today

John 14:27 (NIV)

27 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.

Jesus offers peace when stress seeks to destabilize your life. Look closely at His words.

The disciples are gathered with Him in the Upper Room. They are tense despite the calming presence of our Lord. I can identify with being in His presence and looking Him in the face while my mind races around the implications of pending disaster. Obviously, I am distracted and inattentive.

Why are they stressed? The religious authorities are in this city of Jerusalem and their desire to kill Jesus is known. The disciples have seen Jesus’ miraculous power but wonder how He will escape these leaders. They sense a storm brewing.

In this lengthy discourse, we see the servant Jesus. He washes their feet, hosts their meal, and speaks to His betrayer and His denier. His major topic of instruction in this chapter is the triune God. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are front and center. God is on their side!

Jesus reveals that He will stay with them through the Spirit. He has already promised His return. Then, halfway through the discourse, He makes it clear that His time has come. He gives them the customary blessing of “Peace” since He will be leaving.

“Peace” (Shalom). They recognize it as an ordinary goodbye until Jesus arrests their attention. This peace is so much more. Jesus says, “My peace I give to you.”

When we think of peace, we think of separating children into different bedrooms, or countries that must sign a pact to leave each other alone. Peace in the world’s terms is negative, an absence of conflict. Quite often, it is fleeting. Jesus does not give us peace as the world knows it.

The peace of Jesus stretches to the full meaning of shalom. Shalom is the presence of peace, both permanent and whole. Some scholars define peace as “the condition of life that should be.” Only One person can produce peace that leaves us as we should be. His name is Jesus and His peace comes from the power of His presence in us.

Jesus repairs the broken places, waters the dry places, and brings tranquility to the stressed places. He produces a peace that surpasses all understanding, exceeding anything we can imagine. You and I need that peace today. We are surrounded by circumstances that produce inner and outer stress. Our world is destabilized.

Do not let your heart be troubled by being plagued with your stressors. Do not be fearful of your circumstances. Jesus is in control. Be preoccupied with Him.

Think about what Jesus is offering to do in your life. Talk to Him. In His presence, openly name the things that are stressing you. Breathe deeply. Accept His offer of peace. Your fear will fade and your stress will dissipate. Repeat as often as the anxiety bubbles up.

Giving Jesus my attention,

Dave

Prayer for Today

Dear Jesus,

You are omniscient. You know our apocalyptic imaginations. You offer a peace that restores. Only You can do that. You are transcendent, greater than our brains understand. You are personal and present. You are God.

We confess that we do not abide in You though we know of Your presence. We agree that even in Your presence, we are easily distracted. We acknowledge that we are not as strong as we think we are. We repent of refusing Your peace while we seek to tamp down our own emotions and corral our wild imaginations.

Thank You that You do not run from our troubles. Thank You that You know we need more than the absence of conflict. We need the presence of wholeness. Thank You that You restore and repair and refresh. Thank You for offering Your presence in the midst of panic.

Oh Lord, free us from our fixation on our situation. Relieve us of our stress. Give us wisdom to understand what we must, clear thinking to make decisions apart from emotion, and the joy that is found in Your presence. Let us be preoccupied with You. Please give us a fresh understanding of Your grace today.

We love you. Thank You for loving us.

In the peaceful name of Jesus,

Amen.

Song for Today

It Is Well With My Soul
YouTube Link
Author: Philip Paul Bliss and Horatio G. Spafford
Public Domain
CCLI: #25376

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say
“It is well, it is well with my soul”

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come
Let this blest assurance control
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to His Cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul

It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Comments(2)

  1. Reply
    Peggy Schneider says:

    Thank you for reminding us that the Lord is omniscient and He knows our every thought and feeling. He is the only One Who can give real peace. This gives me much to dwell on. I look forward to these devotionals each evening. They are so well done and the theme carries through the devotional, prayer and song. Thank you, Dave.

  2. Reply
    Debby Hartzell says:

    These devotionals are such a help to me. We read them together before sleeping. It helps me focus on my own prayers, and helps me to think about Jesus more and less about what I am concerned about.
    Thank you for putting this together for all of us.

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