An Inner Peace that Cannot Be Stolen
“Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.' ” (John 16:31-33, NLT)
“I just don’t know what to do,” a close family friend said over coffee one night. “My daughter is afraid to go to the mall, the movies, school. She’s afraid to live her life.”
I remember those words being spoken years ago, after the school shooting at Sandy Hook. That was nearly six years ago, and in the time that’s passed, I can’t say with any kind of confidence that this world has gotten any better. Media tries to top itself with more outrageous headlines and sin-sick people try to outdo the last. It would take too long to list the heartbreak and the anguish. And because
of that, lots of people– Christians included– walk in fear of what tomorrow night bring or whether they’ll become another statistic, another name on a list.
Sure, it’s a bleak picture, but it’s not one you have to walk under.
In our key verse, Jesus the Light of the World, tells His disciples that there is a day coming so quickly that it might as well be today, where they won’t be able to lean on each other. He warns them that there is a day coming that they won’t have Him in the flesh to come to and seek comfort or counsel.
We know what day Jesus is speaking of– a day that led to a hill and a cross, where Jesus knew He would die for the Lord’s ultimate cause… to set those who love Him free from sin. And for us, we know that we’re walking in days very similar, as we wait for the day that Jesus will come back again to gather His church. It’s not hard to see the signs: between shootings, violence, natural disasters, and polarizing disagreements on all sides, it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to see that we’re scattered.
But Jesus shares a precious comfort with us. He tells His disciples that even though He may be alone, His Father is always with Him. He goes on to say that the disciples shouldn’t be disheartened by the fact that darkness may lie in front of them, waiting to confront them face to face. Jesus didn’t tell them about their suffering so that they could quit while they were ahead. Instead, Jesus shared these things with them so that they could have one very impossible thing: peace.
Here’s the thing. Our God is so wonderful and spectacular. He has faced and beaten death. He has taken beatings and endured mockery that puts blacktop bullies to shame. He knows suffering. Our God is a King that got off His throne to brave the darkness of this world so that we could have the light. He goes before us and protects us. Does that mean we’re exempt from difficult and scary stuff? No, but it does mean that despite what stands before us, we know the outcome.
So you know what? Don’t live in fear of what may step into your path as you go about your life. Walk boldly into concerts and movie theatres and shopping malls and schools. Jesus died on a cross and walked out of a grave so that you could have the same intimate knowledge that He had, knowing that the King of kings and the Lord of lords dwells inside Him. He’s not talking about any ordinary peace. He’s talking about an out-of-this-world, indescribably transcendent peace that is rooted in Christ. That’s a peace that we all have access to, but very few dare to grab a hold of and firmly stand in.
The source of all peace and the conqueror of the world lives inside our hearts. Jesus did that for us. He has overcome the world, so take heart, friend. Don’t worry about where you go or what you do. As long as you obey the Lord and do your best to glorify Him every day, He is inside of you. He is supplying the peace you need. There is nothing that can take Him out of your heart. There is nothing that can separate you from that promise.
Today, I’ve been thinking and praying for the families affected by the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. I can’t imagine how any of that must feel and my heart breaks that someone could harbor enough hatred to rationalize murder. But every time I think about it, the Lord reminds me of a lyric from a song I know. I’m not going to link it below because the song is most definitely not a worship song, but Jesus can speak through anything.
“The Light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole.”
Jesus is coming, y’all. Maybe not tomorrow, but He will. And He doesn’t just come to take back what the darkness stole. He’s coming back to give back everything stolen from you. That’s restoration. That’s the beauty of our Overcomer. When Job went through his suffering, the Lord didn’t just hand Him back the same life the devil stole. He gave Job above and beyond what he originally had because God is the source. He doesn’t have to make do with what we have. He can pull blessings out of nothing.
Don’t let headlines steal your peace. Don’t let the darkness steal your confidence. The Light is coming to give back everything you think you lost and everything you think you lost access to. Jesus already conquered it, dude, all you have to do is take heart and remember the peace that already lives inside you.
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