Peace Where You Least Expect It
|John 14 (NKJV™)|
|27||"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.|
|28||"You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I.|
|29||"And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.|
|30||"I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.|
|31||"But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
On countless American gravestones this epitaph could be written: Hurried, Worried, Buried. What a sad way to live! Fear, anxiety, and distress have literally become part of our national culture. Odd, isn't it? Though we have such abundance in this country, most don't experience abundant life—especially as Jesus described it. Sure, everyone has his or her share of trouble and anxieties, but let's consider one of the greatest gifts Jesus gives to followers—the gift of peace!
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" John 20:31.
Believe:879 is an epic journey through the book of John led by Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary of Albuquerque. As we explore each of the 879 verses of this gospel, we'll grow in grace and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. From His pre-incarnate existence, to His public ministry, through His death and His resurrection we'll traverse familiar territory and embark on new adventures of faith.
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Pondering the Principles:
Greek Terms: eiréné - peace of mind
Figures Referenced: Arthur Oaken; Alfred Nobel; J. Oswald Sanders
Cross References: Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 48:22; Jeremiah 29:11; John 6:15-21; John 12:31; John 13:26-27; John 16:33; John 18; Romans 5:1; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 5:22; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 1:6; 1 John 4:4
Topic: Upper Room Discourse
Keywords: Peace, anxiety
So let's turn to 14 John this morning, 14 John and let's pray together. Lord, we're interested in what you have to say to us. We believe you speak still today. We believe that you have preserved by the power of your spirit exactly what you wanted to say, exactly what you want to reveal and communicate to people in every generation through this book even though men's hands have taken up the pen and written words down, we believe it was under the supervision of your spirit so that we have the very words of God.
And as we study the words of our savior given to his disciples, I pray father that we would grow deeper than we have. I pray that our level with you, our spiritual walk with you would deepen. We simply ask in Jesus' name. Amen.
I've been interested in a phrase that I've heard recently. I've heard it before, but I've heard it again recently and it just sort of jumped out when on the news I heard the phrase, 'the misery index.' Have you ever heard that phrase? They're telling us the misery index in our country is on the rise. That just jumped out at me when I heard the misery index, so I did a little digging.
Back in the 1960s, an economic adviser to President Lyndon Johnson named Arthur Oaken came up with a phrase, 'the misery index' and what it is simply, it is the unemployment rate added to the inflation rate and those two become an economic indicator to how the nation is fearing, so the idea is that as inflation is on the rise and people are more and more out of work, the misery index goes up.
We're presently at 12.67 in the misery index. They say it's going up now, 12.67. The lowest our country has ever been is 1953. It was at 2.97. The highest its ever been was June of 1980, right before the 1980 elections. It was 21.98. But they're telling us, the misery index is going up. Now, there's another word besides misery that I got from the news. There's a word that jumped out at me when I read the Good News, the text we're about to read this morning, it's a word that is used a few times by Jesus himself. It's a very different word for misery, in fact, I would say, it's the opposite word. It could even be considered the cure for misery. It's the word peace.
Verse 27, Jesus speaking, he says, "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. You have heard me say to you, I am going away and coming back to you. If you love me, you would rejoice because I said I am going to the Father for my Father is greater than I and now, I have told you before it comes that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you for the ruler of this world is coming and he has nothing in me, but that the world may know that I love the Father and as the Father gave me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here."
Peace is the most sought after experience bar none, more than money, more than fame, more than power, more than status, people want peace. I googled peace this week. I just wrote in the word peace and I was interested to find that I received 791 million results. Fascinated by that, I typed in the word world peace, 112 million results. I kept going, I was having fun. I wrote in personal peace, 410 million results. I typed in spiritual peace, 84,100,000 results. We think about peace, we talk about peace, we yearn for peace, we visualize it, we put it on bumper stickers, we want peace. We want world peace. There is even something called the peace prize, the Nobel Peace Prize.
Interestingly, invented by Alfred Nobel, the man who invented dynamite. Oh let me tell you the story, it's fascinating. Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemical engineer and he was reading the paper one day and he saw that he had died and he didn't know this, there was a misprint in the obituary column. Alfred Nobel and he was known as the one who invented dynamite. Well that sort of shook him, he thought, "That's not the legacy I want to leave. I want to leave something better than that." So he embarked on peaceful things and developed the Nobel Peace Prize.
But peace seems so elusive. Yeah, I know we talk about it. We will negotiate for it, but how many people really experience peace, let's just get down to brass tax. In the last 3100-plus years of recorded history, there have been 286 years of peace. What that means is that in all of the recorded history we know of, 8% of world history has been peaceful, that's all. And in 3100 years, 8000 peace treaties have been formed, signed and broken. Peace seems elusive because, well peace is elusive outwardly, but not inwardly. The bible speaks about peace, some 397 times.
As a real experience for those who trust God, I am interested in the fact that Jesus is called one of his titles in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 9, he is the Prince of what? The Prince of Peace. He is not called the Prince of Hope. He is not called the Prince of Love. He is not called the Prince of Joy though all of htose titles would be befitting, but he is called the Prince of Peace as if to indicate if you want peace, get to know the Prince.
And what is ironic is that so many people will talk about peace and search for peace and sing about peace, but never receive the Prince of Peace. It's sort of like Caesar Augustus who, when he was reigning in Rome, he had found out that there was a man living on the other side of the city who though he incurred a great debt, he could never pay off, slept peacefully every night and so Caesar Augustus wanted to buy that man's bed.
You see, he thought it's all about the bed, some ancient posture-pedic Roman perfect mattress. Now, it's all about the man, not about the bed.
We have five verses in front of us and I have to tell you that the only mistake I believe I made in preparing for this message is I bit off more than I could chew. I really should just have taken smaller chunks. I have so much that I want to say, there is so much truth packed into these verses. I am going to do my best to unpack it and don't worry, I'll finish in time.
But there's just so much truth to be extracted. There's actually three experiences of peace that our savior speaks about or eludes to. The first is in Verse 27, peace in a troubled world he speaks about. To his disciples, he says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you." Peace he says to them. Peace. The word in Greek, eirene, we get the woman's name, Irene from it was a common greeting. In fact, these were Hebrews and if you go to Jerusalem today, people still will say to you, Shalom, which is peace.
Three times in John Chapter 20, Jesus will use the word peace as a greeting. He will say to his disciples after the resurrection, when he appears to them, "Peace be with you." The first thing he says, a common greeting, followed up in his Epistles, "Grace and peace." But here, in Chapter 14, in this verse, this is not a greeting, this is not a salutation. This is a promise.
I'm going to paraphrase, but this is what I believe is the best way to translate it. Let me cause you to have a quiet, peaceful, restful, tranquil, heart and mind. In fact, the New Living translation renders, "I am leaving you with the gift: peace of mind and heart."
So there's God's promise to you if you are a follower of his peace. If you're a businessman struggling to stay afloat in this herd economy God promises you peace. If you are a worker and you just want to keep your job, God promises you peace. If you are a parent and you're worried about all of the dependent mouths that look toward you to feed them, God promises you peace. If you're a student and you just want to pass the test and make it to the next grade, God promises you peace.
Peace is the promise.
It must be sad however that the bible does differentiate between two kinds of peace. Let me explain, there's peace with God and then there's the peace of God – two very different things. The first is objective, the second is subjective. The first is not a feeling or may not accompany one, the second is definitely a feeling. But you can never experience the second, that is the peace of God, unless you've experienced the first and that is peace with God.
Let me further explain. Peace with God is when you fly the white flag of spiritual surrender. You say, "I give up, I come to God on God's terms," which is the cross of Christ, "I receive Christ as my savior into my life, into my heart." Then you have peace with God. That's what Paul command in 5 Romans, "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ." But then there's the second and that is the peace of God.
That's the experience, that's the tranquility, that's the rest that Jesus is promising here. The feeling, the experience of tranquility. If you were to plug another verse into Verse 27, it would be the one in 4 Philippians, most of you know it, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God and the peace of God," the peace that pass is all understanding will guard or will rule your hearts and your minds.
So let me give it to you in a short statement that you can remember, it's a bit simplistic perhaps, but it fits, when Jesus is savior, that brings peace with God. When Jesus is Lord, that will bring the peace of God. Peace he promises. Not only that, look at the very second part of that verse. He just doesn't say, "Peace, I leave with you." He says, "My peace, I give to you." Literally, my own peace. He is the manufacturer of this kind of peace. He is the distributor of this kind of peace.
Again, let me paraphrase all of this together. Jesus is saying, I am going to cause you to be restful, tranquil, quiet, peaceful inside your hearts and minds with the same kind of rest, tranquility and peace that I have inside my heart and mind. Now let that just settle in for a moment. Can you ever picture Jesus as being frantic? Frenzied? Do you ever picture however way Jesus saying, "Oh no." Ever? Never. Never. And that's the legacy that he passes on to those follow Him.
That's the effect that Christ has upon a life. Paul put it this way, "The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, goodness, kindness et cetera." That's the effect of Christ on the human life. Jay Oswald Sanders put it this way, "Peace is not the absence of trouble. Peace is the presence of God." In fact, I would say to that, I'd add to that. You can be at peace very deeply while the world seems to be falling apart around you. It's peace in a troubled world.
Now, you should have that. I should have that peace. For the life of me, I don't quite know why some Christians still get the idea that God is frowning at them. But as I talk to so many, that's the idea that I get. They picture God as having a furrowed brow and his arms are folded across his celestial robe and He's just looking at you going, "Tsk, tsk. Not good. I'm going to get you."
That couldn't be further from the truth, Jeremiah 29 declares, "I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord," thoughts of peace. Thoughts of peace, not of evil to give you a future and a hope. So He promises peace. He promises His peace. Look at it further, he promises an other worldly kind of peace. He says, not as the world gives do I give to you.
You see, you'll never find this kind of peace anywhere out there in the world. It's not to be found. Now, I do have to say that worldly people, a lot of them, may seem very peaceful and will tell you, I'm at peace and there are temporary experiences of tranquility that you can find in a beautiful morning, a romance, an experience where you go, "I am just so..." Hey, listen, a good cup of coffee will get you that.
But these are transient, momentary experiences. In fact, I would even go so far as to say, for unbelievers, any kind of peace like that is just the bliss of ignorance. What you don't know won't hurt you is the idea. It's the bliss of ignorance because if the unbeliever really understood how the wrath of God is poised against the unrepentant, they would never have announced the peace. They would live in high anxiety. Isaiah put it this way, "There is no peace says the Lord for the wicked."
So it's the bliss of ignorance. It might be transient. It might be momentary, but this promise is something far deeper and something longer lasting. Look at the very last sentence of Verse 27. It's divided into two sentences. "Let not your heart be troubled," does that ring a bell? That's how the chapter begins, right? Verse 1, "Let not your heart be troubled," but then he adds this, "Neither let it be afraid."
Now the way that's written in the Greek vocabulary, it means to stop an action that's already going on. In other words, these voices were agitated in the upper room. They're distressed. They're filled with anxiety. They're filled with fear. So he says to them, let not your heart be troubled.
Now you know what that tells me? That tells me that there's a cooperation going on. There's God's part and then there's your part. Here, I'll promise you peace, it's a very real experience. It can be yours. You can walk in it, but you have a part to play. You have to appropriate the promise. That makes sense? You have to let not your heart be troubled. You have to stop if you're filled with anxiety. Stop that and appropriate my peace.
A lot of God's promises are that way. Jesus said the Holy Spirit was going to come. But Paul will later say, being filled with the spirit. That's a commandment. So there are two parts of this. These disciples had every earthly reason to be fearful, to be agitated, to be troubled, to be afraid. Fear is the natural response to trouble. Peace is the supernatural response. And whenever I encounter that in a person's life, I'm humbled.
I was humbled this week. There's a family in our church, I don't think they'd mind if I brought them up in this context. A family that I've known since we started our first bible study before we were even incorporated as an official church. They've been with us a long time. I watched Jessica, their daughter being raised in this church.
Jessica grew up, got married, had kids; six weeks ago, we buried her daughter. It was a very painful experience for this family. Two days ago, they called me, Jessica's house burned to the ground. Yeah, you think one blow, so deep, so blighting, so devastating and then another one.
So I called Jessie who was the grandfather of that child that died, Jessica's dad. Not knowing what I was going to hear, but sort of suspecting what I would hear because I know him. The first thing he said and I wrote it down and made such an impression, the first thing when he picked up the phone and he knew it was me, he said, "Skip, we are so blessed to be called the children of God."
I thought, how can I minister to him? He is ministering to me. He said, the peace of God, the lessons we've learned, what God is doing, what we have seen –wow. He nailed it. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Why? Because in the storm that is coming your way, God will couch in that storm of blessing. Remember the story when Jesus sent His disciples out in the Sea of Galilee and then a storm arose, remember that? And then Jesus starts walking to them on the water and the bible says, they looked and they saw Jesus walking towards them on the water and they didn't know it was Jesus, which always sort of amazed me.
Well who else could it be?
And they were afraid, they didn't recognize Him. Why didn't they recognize Him? Here's my take on it. They weren't expecting Jesus to come in the storm. And that's the beauty of it. Jesus came to them on the very thing they feared the most – the storm.
You might be in one right now or you might be facing one, don't know when, it could be a possible surgery, it could be the death of a loved one, you could fill in the blank, but I'll guarantee you, if you look, you'll find that Jesus will come to you on the very thing you may fear the most. It might be His footpath to come to you and you will say, in it and through it and after it, the Lord has been so good and gracious and shown Himself."
Sailors tell us that in the ocean there is a section so deep beneath the surface of the water, they call it the cushion of the sea. No matter what's happening on the surface, no matter how big the waves are, billowing or breaking ships, if you get down far enough, it's absolutely still – the cushion of the sea. I want to live in the cushion of God's sea. Peace, my peace, not as the world gives. Don't let your heart be troubled. Don't let it be afraid.
To first experience Jesus, it talks about it in Verse 27. Verse 29 and 28, "There's a second kind of peace and that is peace while you are waiting, in temporal waiting. You have heard me say to you, I am going away and coming back to you. If you love me, you would rejoice because I said I am going to the Father for my Father is greater than I." All right, Jesus is leaving and can you just imagine what they're feeling as He says, now you've heard me tell you that I am leaving, they go, yeah, I know and we're not happy about it.
Jesus makes a point, a rebuke really. If you really loved me, you'd be happy because where I'm going, I'm going to the Father. Now Jesus had left heaven. He left the glories of heaven. He left of the prerogatives of that place. He left the face to face fellowship with His Father, the glory of the angelic singing. He came to this earth. He suffered all of the limitations as a human being, the suffering, the temptation and so if you really love me, I'm going back there.
See, the nature of true love, while the bible says, 1 Corinthians 13, "Love does not seek its own." If you really love someone, you are concerned about what's best for that person, not what is best for you. So they're thinking only about themselves. Jesus says, I'm leaving. Well what about us? Well, if you really loved me, you'd be excited. You'd rejoice because I am going to my Father, but notice what else He says. "You've heard me say to you, I am going away and coming back to you." Okay, that's a thought I want to capture with you.
I'm going, but I'm coming back to you. Now, you answer that. When is He coming back? How is He coming back? I know it's a trick question, it really is. It can be answered three ways. Number one: He is coming back in the resurrection. They'll have to wait how many days for that? Three days. He is also coming back at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes. Jesus said, "I am going to send you another comforter. One just like me to take my place. That's the Holy Spirit." They're going to have to wait 50 days for that.
Then also, He is coming eventually, finally when He comes back to this earth, right? Well, we're still waiting for that. So whether it's three days or 50 days or 2000-plus years, there needs to be peace in a time of waiting for the Lord's promises to be fulfilled. Waiting.
Do you like to wait for anything? No, do you? I hate it. I hate to wait and I hate lines because I have to wait for like an hour. Ever been to Disneyland and stood in a line? It's like, is this supposed to be the happiest place on earth? Because I'm not happy in this line. Or getting on the freeway and lining up and it goes into gridlock and then somebody dares pull in front of us and gets there a millisecond before we do. Whoa. We hate to wait.
We live in the computer age and we have phones. We can get instant text messages and we can get on the internet and listen to how we talk. "Oh man, this thing is slow. I can't believe it." "This 3G stuff man is like archaic." Listen to yourself. You have to wait a billionth of a millisecond extra to get a download of information that would take you months to get years ago. We hate to wait. We need God's peace in our generation as we wait for anything, especially these promises to be fulfilled.
Let's apply this. Apply this first of all to those that you know that you have loved who have died and gone to heaven, a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend. You were at the funeral. You were deeply grieved, you are still grieved. You experienced loss, understandably so. You should. It's all legitimate.
However, that loved one is in heaven and if you really love that loved one, you'd rejoice. At the same time while you grieve, you rejoice that they're in heaven. In fact, it's the knowledge that they're in heaven that brings you peace while you're waiting to be reunited with that loved one.
And second, apply it this way, we're waiting for the Lord to return. Okay, it has been a couple of thousand years since Jesus said He would come back. He hadn't come back yet. He will. He will come back, I believe sooner than later, but in the meantime, the world is getting uglier and messier and just – I mean, bad. How can I have peace in these economic times and war is starting all around the world and just the whole Middle East thing. You're to have peace.
Now, you know why and you know how you can have peace? I'm going to show you Verse 29. I want you to see it for yourself, "And now Jesus said, now I have told you before it comes that when it does come to pass, you may believe." You may believe.
Let me tell you how you can have peace. You look back on all of the things that Jesus predicted that the bible predicted would happen and have happened. Okay, so let's do that. Jesus predicted that He was going to be betrayed. Was He betrayed? Yup, check that happened. Jesus predicted that they were going to hang Him on a cross. He'd be crucified. Did that happen? Yeah, it happened. Check. Okay, he predicted He would rise again from the dead. It happened. Check.
Jesus also said, and by the way, I'm going to come back to this earth and rule and reign. Is He going to do that? You know how you know He's going to do that because everything He said He would do, He did. I told you beforehand so that when it comes to pass, you'll believe.
If you don't mind, turn over to Chapter 16 for just a moment. Go right two blocks. 16 John, look at Verse 33. "These things I have spoken to you that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world." Fulfilled promises from the past and sure fulfilled promises for the future and bring peace.
If I tell you that tomorrow, I'll pick you up at 7PM, if I show up exactly on time, and then I say, now tomorrow, I'll pick you up at 8PM and I'm there exactly on time and then I say, and the next day, I'll be there at 5PM and I show up exactly on time. Eventually, you will know that when I make a promise, I'm going to be there on time. You'll have peace. You won't live in any anxiety, "Oh, I'm going to be late. He never shows up on time."
But if I always show up on, it will bring you a sense of peace. These things I have spoken to you that you might have peace. So we have peace in a troubled world, peace in a time of waiting. We have a third kind of peace that will complete the picture for us and that is peace in spiritual warfare. Look at the last two verses of our text. Verse 30, "I will no longer talk much with you for the ruler of this world is coming and He has nothing in me, but that the world may know that I love the Father and as the Father gave me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here."
Who is the ruler of this world? Satan. We know that because in Chapter 12, He calls satan the same name, the ruler of this world. In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul calls the devil, the god of this age or the god of this world and how did he get those titles? Why is called that? It's simple. When Adam and Eve fell in the garden, they handed the dominion that God gave to them over the earth over to satan, the usurper. They forfeited that. That's what Paul meant in Romans 5, "Through one man, sin entered the world and death drew sin and death spread to all."
So Adam, you might say, is the Benedict Arnold of the universe. He has betrayed us and we've suffered the consequences ever since. So satan is called the ruler of this world. Now, he says, the ruler of this world is coming.
To be fair in context, this probably refers to what Judas is doing. Judas is betraying Jesus and the coming of Judas with the soldiers to arrest Jesus that you'll see in Chapter 18 is probably what Jesus refers to when He says, the ruler of this world is coming.
Do me a favor, go back one chapter, 13 John, we've read it, but let's be refreshed for a moment. Verse 25, this is the meal, the upper room meal, Passover, "Then leaning back on Jesus' breast, he..." That's John, "said to Him, Lord who is it?" Who is it that will betray you is the context. Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, satan entered him and Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."
Probably at the very moment that Jesus is speaking in Chapter 14, Judas is arranging this arrest and he will come.
But Jesus doesn't say, and Judas is coming. He says satan is coming because Judas is the pawn. Back stage, the real power grab is with satan. Satan is thinking, I'm going to manipulate Judas to get rid of Jesus, but notice what Jesus says, "I will no longer talk much with you." In other words, Chapters 15 and 16 will end it all. He is done talking after that. That's all He's going to say to them, then He will be arrested and killed.
For the ruler of this world is coming and he has nothing in me, meaning, he has no hold on me. He can't manipulate me. What is about to happen isn't because of anything satan is doing, I am doing this to be obedient and loving to my father. He's in perfect control. It's part of the plan. He has nothing in me.
You can say the same thing. As a child of God, satan will tempt you, will bust at you, will harass you, will hassle you. You can say with all authority, he has no control, nothing on me. He can't harm me because the bible says, "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world, the ruler of this world. God is in you." He is greater than the ruler of this world. He has no hold on me.
You can never say, "The devil made me do it." You can never use that excuse. He has no grip, no hold, no authority. Now don't underestimate satan, he is a powerful foe, but please don't overestimate him. So many Christians do. They're so afraid of the devil everywhere. He has no hold on you. He has nothing in me and because of that, you can have peace in spiritual warfare.
In San Francisco is one of the most magnificent structures on earth, at least, I feel that. It was built in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge. The designers of the Golden Gate Bridge, the engineers knew that they had to deal with three stresses, three loads they called it. They had to deal with dead load, live load and wind load.
Dead load is the weight of the bridge itself that's keeping that there and suspended. Live load is the daily traffic that goes back and forth on the Golden Gate Bridge and wind load, as the term implies are the winds, the storms that come in and buffet and beat against that bridge. So the engineers built into that the ability for that bridge to stay anchored, bracing so it could bear up under the load.
In life, we all need bracing to bear up under the load. The trouble, the trouble that comes from the world, the trouble that comes as we wait for God's promises, the troubles that come particularly to believers who are buffeted and in spiritual warfare. We need bracings.
What are your bracings? Well, maybe your list would include, "Oh I have a good marriage." That's good. "I have children around me who love me, I have parents, I have good friends, I have a church that I am involved in." Of all that are in your list, all of those are good bracings for storms, but you need to be able to honestly add, I have the peace of God. It anchors me. Because I know who He is and I believe what He said, I have peace, it's God's peace, it's the cushion of the sea that we can abide in.
I have a minute left. I want to say one thing in a minute. I'm going to say it really fast. There's a word in our text that I want to just come in to you as an experience. It's a word that you would say is sort of out of place when you talk about trouble, it's the word rejoice, Verse 18, "If you love me, you would rejoice that I'm going to my Father. My Father is greater than I."
Have you ever thought about rejoicing in trials? In trouble? And I know, it sounds cheeky, but I mean that honestly. Rejoice. You say, "Skip, are you nuts?" Well, aside from that fact. And I mean it sincerely. Peter who is in that upper room and heard all of these would write these words much later on, 1 Peter 6, "In this you greatly rejoice though now for a little while, you've had to suffer grief and all kinds of trials." One of the ways of handling trouble that is your lot in life is to do it with rejoicing.
And what a pleasure it is to meet along life's road, those rare gems that have learned to smile even when they are blasted with troubles and what they do to lift a person up and encourage them.
Father, none of these is natural. If we were to go through our life griping, complaining, listing our woes and sorrows, we would blend in with the landscape, there would be no difference at all. No one would bat an eyebrow.
But to trust, to believe and to rejoice because of a sense of peace that is supernatural. That is the legacy of a Christ follower. You want to pass on to us your personal peace and give it to us as an abiding gift that though the world around us is troubled, that we're waiting for all of the promises yet to be fulfilled in a very uncertain time and though satan attacks us, we can live in that cushion, may that be so.In Jesus' name, amen.