A Pastor’s Ponderings: Where Does Our Peace Come From?

0
44

David Holland_PastorBy Pastor David Holland

The world broils with conflict. Can you imagine living in Israel with rockets lobbed into your neighborhood at random times? Or, in Gaza, where the country is being reduced to rock and rubble? Or in Ukraine, where soldiers rot entrenched in freezing foxholes. They fight a war nobody wants, but a lone madman in Moscow. Where does peace come from?

Yes, chaos reigns in the world. Twenty-two veterans a day commit suicide. Three of the leading causes of death among teenagers are accidents, homicide and suicide. The United States records close to 700,000 divorces per year. Bad news abounds, but good news is on the way.

Christians have downloaded the free Bible App, YouVersion, over a billion times as they seek to learn more from the Word of God. What are these billion people looking for? In three of the last four years, the most common search on this app is not for scriptures relating to success, prosperity or healing. The most common search is “Fear not, for I am with thee.”

People are searching for peace, the antidote to fear. They are fearful about their future, finances and families. But we do not find peace in financial security, nor is it found in political consensus. We find peace in a person, and his name is Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Jesus said in John 14:27 (NIV), “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Peace is a gift Christ wants to give. He wants to give it to us far more than we will ask for it. You have not because you ask not.

The Lord’s presence conveys peace to us. According to Isiah 43:5 (NIV) God says, “Fear not, for I am with you.” Fear has no foundation. We have no reason to fear because God is with us. He is with us in Destin. God is with people in Israel, Ukraine, Syria, and Gaza. He is for us and not against us. The sunlight of His favor is shining on us if we will open our eyes to see it.

I remember my ex-wife once saying I dressed like a Sears mannequin. That is bland and blasé, lacking style. As a pastor, I felt I needed to dress in a neat but non-controversial manner. One of the church members once referred to me as “Robo-pastor” because, no matter what happened, I kept going about my duties. I prided myself on not reacting to circumstances emotionally. Clearly, I needed God’s work in my heart.

Following my divorce in 2005, I remember seeing my future, dying alone and uncared for. The thought terrified me and left me depressed. When I attended worship, I would weep uncontrollably. It was embarrassing. Long suppressed emotions were boiling over. My life and my peace were shattered. As I left a church in San Antonio, unable to control my feelings, the Lord whispered into my heart, “You are angry with Me. You thought your life, family and future were secure, but you trusted the wrong things. Will you trust Me now?”
I turned away from my anger and self-justification. God’s presence in my heart was restored. My peace came from the Lord.

God’s presence guarantees His peace. The remedy to fear and insecurity rests in faith in God’s faithfulness. Healing for broken emotions flows in God’s presence. Will you invite God into your life in 2024? Turning to the Lord is our barrier to depression, worry and anxiety. Allow peace to flow into your heart.

This article is an excerpt from Dave Holland’s devotional, “Christmas Jesus.” Start your new year in the word of God with Dave Holland and his daily devotional, “Every Day Jesus.” This devotional-Bible study is based on the Gospel of Luke. You can get a copy of his books from the website, DaveHolland.org or at Amazon.com. Pastor Dave is available to preach and teach at churches and conferences.

Views: 8