“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
Do you have words that you speak to yourself? You know, where you stop and preach yourself a little sermon in five or less words? It goes like this: “Be anxious for nothing.” “You can do this.” “God’s got this, Martha.” “You are not your own, girl.” “Get over yourself.” “Trust or Fear! Which is it today?” Well, my Bible reading today gave me a new mini sermon. It was tucked away in a very familiar verse, but on this day, it popped off the page in large font.
Jesus himself spoke the words. As He was preparing His disciples for His soon departure, He spoke such words of love, grace and peace. He knew the events were going to be frightening and they would fear for their own lives. He knew they stood in shock and unbelief of the words He spoke to them. They couldn’t imagine that He was about to be crucified and that He would be resurrected three days later. They also could not imagine that He would be removed from them, instead of becoming their long-awaited King. “What do you mean, we can’t go with you? Where are you going? How will we live without you?” The questions must have compounded as the hours ticked away.
Is your mind filled with questions? Do you have places in your life right now where you stand in unbelief? You can’t imagine that things are unfolding as they are. You never dreamed the world could really be in this condition. Do you believe the words that Jesus told us through His word? Do you believe the promise that one day, He will return and we will go home with Him for all of eternity? Can you believe that in the end, He will make all things right?
His words must have brought great comfort to His disciples. He told them everything that they needed to know. And He gave them the most precious promise that is available to you and me. He promised peace; not the peace that the world offers, but His peace. Peace is defined as: freedom from disturbance; tranquility. Promised peace stuck right there in the middle of crazy confusion and scary unbelief. Peace when the forecast doesn’t look too promising. Peace when everything seems to be falling apart. Peace in the midst of great loss. Peace when everything you see and hear is causing your insides to churn.
Yet, right there the little mini sermon shows up and shouts: “Let Not!”
“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27. Let not is an instruction to me. I can choose to not be troubled and afraid, because I have His promised peace. I can preach to myself, “Martha, let not.” I love how the Amplified Version says it: “Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.”
It’s the way we watch over our heart and our mind. We guard the condition of our being. If left to our own, we will all be crazy, raging, angry maniacs. Why, when we are promised peace from Jesus would we choose any other way?
How, you might ask? By receiving what Jesus promised. Take the gift, it is yours. We lay down the trouble, worry, agitation, fear, intimidation, cowardice and unsettled feelings and we pick up His peace. When I choose to take on His peace and let not my heart be troubled and afraid, I literally feel the peace and calm settle down on me. Things around may never change, but within me changes.
“Lord Jesus, thank you for this precious gift of peace that you have given to us. Your peace. Today, we receive what you have given and we choose to lay down all the worry, confusion, unbelief and fear. We stand confident that what you have promised,
You will perform. I don’t have to have the answers. I don’t have to understand. I can trust in the One who gave His life for me and knows all things. Jesus I believe You!”
Go ahead and preach to yourself!