Peace or Fear

When faced with life’s challenges, we have two options in our response: Peace or Fear. Choosing peace requires some work on our part, as it does not often come naturally. Fear is an immediate response that requires no work from us, yet takes much in return.

Last week I had my “over 50” colon screening scheduled at the hospital. It wasn’t my first one, since I have a genetic tendancy toward such things, so I shouldn’t have been too worried. But considering all things going on in the virus world right now, I was a little more on alert. It seems like everyone’s senses are intensified. I couldn’t help but think to myself, what if I catch something in the hospital? Why not just put this off until later? I almost rescheduled. But then that would be acting irrationally in fear. The risk of not having a potentially life-saving screening done because of an unreasonable fear is a much worse risk. That is what fear does to us. It takes.

So instead of giving in to the fear, I prayed. The morning of my procedure, I prayed for God to give me peace through it all – the process, the surgery, and the anesthesia. I had done everything I needed to do. I had kept my appointment and followed the doctor’s directions, and now I was asking God to give me what only He can truly give – Peace. I wasn’t asking God to take away my circumstances, but just to be there with me and give me peace. And you know what? God did! He showed up! I felt an unusual calm as I waited for them to stick me with the IV needle and roll my hospital bed into surgery. PEACE. The feeling is priceless, especially when things are no longer under our own control.

We’ve all been humbly reminded of this over the last week, that we surely can’t control everything going on around us. But God does promise to give us peace when we ask. God has an abundance of peace that He is always willing to give. It is one of His promises from the Bible, and is available to anyone who believes and asks. God’s promises are  something we can always depend on.

Jesus, who is called the Prince of Peace, said this:

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” John 14:27

You can almost feel the tone in Jesus’ words as He speaks this. It is a feeling of true care and concern for people. He does not want our hearts to be troubled, or to be living in fear. He offers us what the world simply cannot.

When my surgery was over, I was glad I had not let fear take over. The doctor found and removed two benign but pre-cancerous colon polyps. Doing nothing out of fear would have been much worse for me later on. Instead, choosing to ask for peace from the Prince of Peace Himself was a wise choice, and a wonderful feeling to have. For every one of us, at some point in our lives, whether now or when we’re much older, will have our life be beyond our control. It will just be ourselves and God. At that time, I want to have God near to me, and to experience His peace when nothing else will satisfy. And it’s also a good practice for us to have in our daily lives now too.

31 Days of the Christmas Story from Genesis to John: Day 17 – Fulfillment of the prophecies

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The anticipation is beginning to build in Luke’s story. Many people were curious about what had happened and the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies. A child was to come from the tribe of Judah, town of Bethlehem, through the line of David, a messenger would prepare the way, and he would have eternal existence.

While we wait for the celebration of the birth of Christ in a few days, let’s look back at many of the prophecies that were beginning to take place.

“Daughter Zion, shout for joy and be glad, for I am coming to dwell among you”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day and become My people. I will dwell among you, and you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me to you. The Lord will take possession of Judah as His portion in the Holy Land, and He will once again choose Jerusalem. Let all people be silent before the Lord, for He is coming from His holy dwelling.” – Zecharia 2:10-13

By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
In Galilee of the Gentiles.
The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined. – Isaiah 9:1-2

His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end. – Isaiah 9:6-7

The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. – Isaiah 7:14

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem!
Look, your King is coming to you;
He is righteous and victorious,
humble and riding on a donkey. – Zecharia 9:9

May you call out today to the only one known who can heal our inward pain, give us peace among a chaotic world, and will be with us for eternity. 

* Merry Christmas *

31 Days of the Christmas Story from Genesis to John: Day 20 – Caesar sends a decree

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In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. – Luke 2:1-3

Caesar Augustus (Octavius) was heir to Julius Caesar, who died in 44 BC. Octavius defeated Marc Antony in the famous Roman battle in 30 BC and became Rome’s first emperor. He was given the title Augustus.

At this particular time in history, from 30 BC to AD, the Roman empire extended further than ever before or since. Rome dominated the world. Daniel’s prophecy of the third kingdom out of four major kingdoms had taken place with Rome. The final major kingdom was to be a kingdom with no end.

There was also universal peace in the land during this time – no wars or conflicts. It was the perfect time for Caesar to order his people to be registered so he could have a record. And it was the perfect time for the Messiah to be born, the Prince of Peace and Kingdom with no end.

 

May you seek the true Peace on Earth this Christmas, Jesus Christ, who came as a Savior for the entire world. For anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

* Merry Christmas *

Names of Jesus: Prince of Peace

Then Jesus arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:39)

With one word, Jesus commanded peace over nature. Only the Prince of Peace could do that. And only Jesus can create peace in our hearts.

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”
(John 14:27)

Our world is filled with fear, hate, lust, greed, war, and utter despair. Surely the second coming of Jesus Christ is the only hope of replacing these features with trust, love, universal peace, and prosperity. For it the world wittingly or inadvertently waits. – Billy Graham

Paul writes it so eloquently in his letter to the Colossians:

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.
For everything was created by Him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things,
and by Him all things hold together.
He is also the head of the body, the church;
He is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead,
so that He might come to have
first place in everything.
For God was pleased to have
all His fullness dwell in Him,
and through Him to reconcile
everything to Himself
by making peace
through the blood of His cross—
whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:15-20)

May you know the everlasting and true peace of Jesus Christ this Christmas.