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Perfect Peace

After months of social distancing, my 9 year old has had enough. He was frustrated last week and asked, “Why is everyone obsessed with COVID-19?” I explained that this is something new to the world and is affecting everyone. It’s causing some stores to close, and the ones that remain open have shorter hours. Businesses have shut down, people have lost their jobs and don’t know how to support their family. I also explained that no one knows how long this will last, and that the unknown causes fear. When people are afraid, they try to consume knowledge, but no one knows what information to trust because there’s a lot of misinformation out there. I said, “Because of all of those things, it appears to you that they’re obsessed with COVID, but really it’s just fear causing confusion and it shows up in people in different ways.”

Fear has been at work since the beginning. Adam and Eve were afraid that God was lying to them about the tree. Fear robs us of peace and does it’s best to distract us with the mindset that we can beat it with information. 24-hour news stations try to meet that need for people to have the most up to date information and often report things before they’re vetted. It’s easy to get addicted to the news and not realize that you’re feeding fear as it’s compelling you to keep watching. Internal peace is hard to find in an uncertain world, but it is possible. You won’t find it in the news, on the internet or from your favorite podcast. The only peace that overcomes the fear of the unknown is the kind that Jesus promised us.

John 14:27 says, “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!” (TPT) Perfect peace is what we as believers have been given, but many of us have allowed ourselves to be robbed of it. We have yielded to fear and allowed ourselves to be troubled in this uncertain time. I’m not saying we shouldn’t take precautions or follow guidelines, but don’t let fear dictate our every move. The world is full of fear and we have the antidote with the Good News. God is still in control. He is still on His throne and has not abandoned us. Trust in Him, be courageous and yield to the Prince of Peace. I don’t need to know everything about COVID-19. I only need to know the One who holds my tomorrow in His hands and put my trust in Him to find peace in this troubled time.

Thanks to @Elijah_sad for making this photo available freely on @unsplash

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God’s Gift Of Peace

As believers, God gives us some pretty incredible gifts. We have the gift of salvation, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the individual gifts of the Spirit and peace. God knows that our outer world is a reflection of our inner world so He gave us the gift of peace. When there is chaos all around us and things are going wrong, we can have peace instead of falling apart. Our inner world doesn’t have to be a reflection of things going on around us. Instead, our trust in God gives us peace no matter what we are facing. It is a driving force in our lives that allows us to be strong when the weight of the world is on our shoulders.

The peace that God gives allows us to have a sense of completeness, a sound mind and contentment. No matter how broken we are, God’s peace makes us whole. When everything around us wants to create fear, God’s peace reminds us that He is in control. When everyone else seems to be prospering and we are not, God’s peace helps us to be content. This gift of peace is strong in the face of adversity and keeps our eyes on God. We need to rely on it more than we do so that we can allow it to replace the worry and fear inside of us. Remember that God has not forgotten you – He’s equipped you for whatever you will face in life with the gifts He’s given you. Hold onto them and use them so your faith can be strong.

Here are some Bible verses on God’s gift of peace.

1. I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!

John 14:27 TPT

2. I am listening to what the Lord God is saying; he promises peace to us, his own people, if we do not go back to our foolish ways.

Psalm 85:8 GNT

3. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

PHILIPPIANS 4:7 AMP

4. Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 NLT

5. GOD makes his people strong. GOD gives his people peace.

Psalm 29:11 MSG

Photo by Radu Florin on Unsplash

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God’s Peace On Earth

Peaceful. That’s not a word I would use to describe the Christmas season. Hectic is the word I would use. Going store to store to buy presents, looking for parking everywhere you go, going to the kid’s Christmas plays, attending Christmas parties, cleaning house for family that’s coming and so much more. Our schedule is full this time of year, and sometimes we accidentally double book.

When Jesus was born, Bethlehem was just as busy. It was over crowded because of the census. Families that hadn’t seen each other in ages were getting together. There were lines everywhere you went, and the locals were hard at work. Jesus was born into chaos, but the message to the shepherds (and us) is that He came to bring us peace no matter what time of year it is. Just like it did for the shepherds, let God’s peace draw you away from the hustle and bustle, and move you closer to Jesus.

Here are some Bible verses on the peace that God gives.

1. At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

Luke 2:13-14 MSG

2. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

PHILIPPIANS 4:7 AMP

3. May the Lord himself, who is our source of peace, give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 GNB

4. You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3 NLT

5. I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

John 14:27 NLT

Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash

Each year, I take a one week sabbatical from writing to refresh and to spend time with my family. Each devotion this week will be a past favorite. Enjoy and I’ll see you in a week.

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