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Peace Of Mind And Heart

Peace Of Mind And Heart
I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 (NLT)

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples right before His crucifixion. He knew that shortly after He talked to them, they will be running for their lives, trying to avoid capture by the Jewish authorities. He was reassuring them that His peace could sustain them through the fiercest opposition and trails. Later, those words carried them forward when they had to face many challenges and persecution.

Before this they were all with Jesus on that stormy night at sea, when they all feared for their lives:

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.’ So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, ‘Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?’ When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Silence! Be still!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ The disciples were absolutely terrified. ‘Who is this man?’ they asked each other. ‘Even the wind and waves obey him!’ Mark 4:35–41 (NLT)
“I’m Still Standing.” Young woman buffeted by powerful wind is able to stand in God’s strength. (Colored pens on paper by Iann Schonken, 2016)

Jesus was asleep, undisturbed by the howling wind and the thunderous clouds of rain. They awoke him, clamoring for His attention, incredulous that He did not care about their pending demise. He just addressed the wind and calmed the waves. When everything calmed down, He rebuked them for their lack of faith. They were astonished at His authority over the elements and His calm response to what was a life-threatening situation.

Jesus, by His example, was teaching them how to be at peace in a storm. Later, when He told them about His gift of peace to them, He encouraged them not to be troubled or afraid. I don’t know if you are facing a storm that has the adrenaline surging through your system as fear is gripping your heart. I don’t know what your storm sounds like or feels like, but I do know what the Lord’s words are to you right now. Let’s reread His words and make them personal, to you specifically:

I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 (NLT)

We cannot keep the storms of life from filling our boats with water, but we can stop them from filling us with fear. If Jesus is in your boat, talk to Him about your storm. Then, talk to your storm about Jesus! Just like in that story from the Gospels, you and Jesus are going over to the other side. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Let Jesus be the Prince of Peace in your mind and heart, and then, tell your storm that Jesus is Lord!

Action Steps:

  1. Believe in Jesus and receive your gift of peace. If I tell you that I left you a bonus check on the mantle in the living room, it is up to you to go and pick it up, open it, and receive it. How you use it is your prerogative. Say to yourself, “I have received my gift of peace from Jesus, and nobody is going to rob me of my peace today!”
  2. Stop looking for your peace in the world. The world is unable to give you peace because all it can offer is turmoil and pain. Even nature can be brutal if you try to find peace there. Think about it: You can sit on a rock enjoying the scenery and get a snake bite! Get your peace from God. It’s His gift to you today.
  3. Make a decision that you are not going to react fearfully to anything that happens in your life. Respond to everything by having great faith in God!

Excerpted from The Art of Peace: 21 Days To A More Peaceful You by Iann Schonken: