We're back to it today--our study on peace. Remember last week, I left off by telling you that Christ not only makes a place in His family for us, He presents us with a gift as well. To find out what that is, let's look at John 14:27. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."
What is our gift? It is His peace. That is the same peace that let Christ sleep in the middle of a tempest while everyone around Him feared for their lives. It is the same peace that strengthened Him in the garden of Gethsemane. That is a supernatural kind of peace. That's the kind I need more of. Did you ever notice in twentieth chapter of John that the first thing Jesus said each time He appeared to His disciples was, "Peace be with you." We don't have to be fearful. We don't have to be troubled. The reason is not because He tells us to be peaceful people or gives us a generic gift of peace. He gives us His peace.
Because we have His peace, we should give let it have first place in our hearts. Colossians 3:15 says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful." The peace that Christ gives to us is a gift. And like all gifts, it can be used or it can be stuck back in some closet and forgotten. What a waste that is!
A fearful Christian is a weak Christian. She is not remembering who God is or what Christ has given to her. I do not mean don't encounter fearful situations. I don't even suggest that our first response isn't fear, naturally it is. Christians don't live in some Pollyanna bubblegum universe. It's the real world and bad things happen to everyone.
It is when we get bogged down by our fears that we are forgetting Christ's peace in us. Something fearful may knock the breath out of us for a second, but it cannot knock us off the path if we are letting His peace rule in our hearts.
We were once given a GPS. When it came time to go visit relatives, we had two options. We could assume that we knew the way and leave the GPS in the box, after all we'd been this same way many times before, or we could use the gift. We could have made it there on our own, but we gave it a try. What a difference! Instead of having to stop to eat at every interstate McDonald's for 800 miles, we could just push the little food button and we had tons of options that were just a couple miles off the route that we never would've found otherwise. When we got to the cities, that sweet little GPS piped up and told us there was a traffic jam ahead and offered an alternative route. Left to our own devices, we'd have been left sitting in traffic. Life was certainly easier with a little help.
The same is true with Christ. His peace is a gift. We must dust off the box, open the gift, and let it lead the way. When we do, we'll find that we can discover a lot more with Him than we ever could on our own. He'll make a way when life piles up or offer us a detour when something comes along that could block our way. It's a great gift and we'll be thankful we have it--if we're willing to accept it.