Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well, and that this devotion finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy!
Readings for February 28, 2021; Second Sunday in Lent
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:23-31; Romans 5:1-11; Mark 8: 27-38
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
What does peace mean to you?
Several decades ago, I asked a friend that question. After taking some time to consider the question, he responded that he pictured peace with himself in his cozy chair, sipping on tea in the quiet of the day.
Yes, for many people, this could be a brief summary of when they might experience peace in their lives. Can’t you just envision yourself in such a scenario: nestled in your coziest of chairs, gently sipping on the most comforting of beverages and warming your insides, listing to the quiet and peacefulness of life around you: birds chirping, leaves rustling or perhaps the fire is crackling and the still of the night has enveloped you. Oh yes, such a picture of peace it is.
But what about when you don’t have that comfy chair or a beverage or quiet all around you. What if your world around you is chaos? What if the comfy chair is replaced with a hospital bed? What if the things threatening to fill your insides are fear and guilt and regret? What then? Where is peace then? Yes, for many the picture of peace is dependent upon the situation in which we are placed. It is based upon our temporal affairs. The only problem with that is when life around us is less than pleasant and peaceful, so is this peace.
However, the peace that God desires for us is so much more than a temporal peace. It is so much more than a quiet night, a cozy chair, or a warming beverage. It is more than feeling or experiencing a calmness with our senses. The peace he desires us to know and live with is an internal peace, a peace within our souls, and it is a peace that we can only fully know through faith in trusting in all that Jesus has accomplished on our behalf and has promised to us.
There is no greater coziness than being able to lay your burdens upon Jesus and to nestle in his love and rest. There is nothing more comforting than ingesting that never ending trickling warmth of his promise to never leave you nor forsake you. And finally, the absolute calm of forgiveness and eternity through all he endured for you because of his love for you, whispers within you through the gentle breezes of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, this is the peace your most gracious God desires for you. And it is a peace that he gives you even in the midst of any chaos that this world can create. Jesus says 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 14:27) So, no matter what is going on in your life right now, rest in Christ’s peace which envelopes you, body and soul. No matter what lies ahead this day, “do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Yes, Go in Peace!
Prayer: Dear Jesus, only you can fill me with complete peace, even in the midst of all the stressful, painful, chaotic things of this world. Please fill me with your peace and help me let go of all the snares that would keep me from resting in you. In your name I pray. AMEN!