Monday, August 22, 2016

Jesus' Gift Is A Peace of Mind and Heart

[Jesus said] “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you – I am going away, but I will come back to you again... I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do, you will believe in me
(John 14:27-29, The Living Bible)

Lord Jesus’ gift to the disciples was “peace of mind and heart.” Jesus wasn’t promising the absence of troubles. In fact, in the near future Jesus Himself would personally endure great physical, emotional and spiritual pains and struggles. What Jesus promised was that they would have His peace in the midst of or during those conflicts and problems. So He affirmed His disciples to “don’t be troubled or afraid.” God was in control.

I think the disciples assumed as long as Jesus was present with them physically, they could rely on the peace and security He brought them, but what would they do when they had to face problems without Him? Besides His continued presence through the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), Jesus promised His peace (“shalom”) will be with them. In the days and years to come – example, during the Book of Acts – Jesus’ gift of peace would be a vital source for the disciples. Later Jesus told them, “I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Why Jesus continued to speaks about His imminent departure and return to the disciples over and over again? Oh, so that they would not be surprised and fearful when these events occurred! They would recognize that Jesus knew what would happen (as He said it would be), and they would have confidence and faith in Him. Jesus wanted them to have “peace of mind and heart” and not be “troubled or afraid.” In the same way, as Christ believers we all face struggles, conflicts, tragedies, and broken dreams almost every day. Don’t be troubled and afraid! Jesus’ assurance in the past also applicable for us today: “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.” At every turn, Jesus assures us of His presence and promise. The midst reality of problems and conflicts in life, God is with us.

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