Wednesday, June 6, 2012

John 14:25-27

My heart has been very troubled this week, so I felt like I’d just been bathed in comfort when I read this morning’s verses:

“All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  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.” (John 14:25-27)

Having had three years living with and learning from Jesus in person, can you imagine how difficult it was for the disciples to hear Jesus tell them that He was leaving them? I can feel the panic and despair and inner turmoil. “What will we do now?” “I didn’t sign up for this - leaving everything and everyone behind just to be abandoned!” How scary that uncertainty would be for them. But Jesus was promising them in these verses that they would NEVER be abandoned! The Counselor, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit would be coming to live with them and IN them!

And the Holy Spirit would continue to teach them “all things,” and would bring back to their minds everything Jesus had said. He would confirm every promise of God over and over to them. Therefore, Jesus could assure them that He was NOT leaving them in turmoil. They would know peace! Specifically, His peace would be nothing like what the world parades as peace (financial security, marriage, lack of conflict, bliss). His peace would be steady and ever-present in the midst of trials and persecution that they had yet to experience.

I like the tie-in of peace to the promise that the Holy Spirit would remind the disciples of everything Jesus had said while with them. The Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to bring us peace in the midst of trials. It’s in the heart of trouble when we are reminded of and cling to God’s promises that have been tucked away in our hearts or that are given to us through others. I have been astonished this week by the verses that have been coming at me through posts on facebook or through devotional emails that I’ve received! Over and over God has confirmed in my heart that He is with me, that He is in control, and and that He loves me!

He has also made it very clear where I need to believe Him. I need to relax in the peace His promises give me.

I know that many of you are also in the midst of great turmoil. Everything around you is filled with conflict, uncertainty, or betrayal. Maybe your marriage seems like it’s dying a slow and painful death, and you are ready to give up. Believe what Jesus said. He is the resurrection and the life. He can give new life to your marriage. Maybe you have a child who has wandered from God, and you are filled with anxiety. Remember that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who will leave the 99 to find the one! Reread the story of the prodigal son and trust God to have His way with your child.

I have been strengthened in my spirit this morning by Jesus’ command to me that comes with the promise: Do not let your heart be troubled, Sally. Do not be afraid.  Fear is the opposite of trust. My peace I give to you. It’s the peace that comes from the Holy Spirit who lives within you. I see what you are going through, and I am in control! Thank you, LORD!  

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