Presence Devotion #21
“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.”
While we remain here on earth, we bear witness to turmoil and persecution on every corner of the globe. It is easy to become bogged down in fear and anxiety, worrying about how the part of history we encounter might be outplayed. Sometimes our fear can even be comfortable. If our fear allows us to maintain a level of self-protection, or what we perceive outwardly to be peace, we may find that we are content to remain in fear, so long as it keeps us alive. Fear can portray itself as reason. But fear is only a cheap, false companion which can lead us to many dark places such as lies and deceitfulness, anxiety and oppression.
Our own callings can become subject to our fear. Knowing what it is that God has called us to do, but fearing to outwork it, not trusting that God’s hand is over it all. It can be a frightening thing to part with fear, especially because we may have become so accustomed to its presence. But we have been given the power and the authority through the Holy Spirit to overcome fear and all that it carries. The Spirit of God leads us to a place of true peace—His peace. We need to decide whether we want God’s peace enough, that we might cast fear away and have our minds renewed.
Jesus’ words to his disciples speak to us, asserting both the manner and the matter of the power by which we attain true peace. Can the world give as God gives? No. It is through Christ alone that we receive peace. Is there any power on earth that can equal? None. “[Christ has] overcome the world” (John 16:33). He is the Prince of Peace.
And to the manner; God gives in peace—not a false peace which surrenders to fear, fear of death and tribulation that would compromise for peace. His peace reaches down to the depths and renews, through the suffering of Christ, that we may be restored and have everlasting peace in His presence, drawing from the wellsprings of His goodness forever.
The peace Christ spoke of is that which helps us to understand; His grace and mercy have covered over our nature of sin. He stills our greatest fears and ceases our striving. It is a peace which affirms that we have a home in Him, and no attempts of the enemy may remove us from His sights. He governs the universe. Receive peace in the knowledge that you walk under the cover of His wings, and He guards and protects you with a fierce and unending love.
- What would your life look like if you lived completely without fear?
- Look at the areas in life where you have experienced the most fear. Has this stopped you from stepping into your calling?
- What do you need to be released from in order to receive the peace of God?
- Who can you encourage this week to step out of fear?