Later on this afternoon my wife and I are heading up to the home of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. The reason for this adventure is Piper’s six month visit with her Neurologist. As I always do, I have been thanking God for the last week for a good report from this appointment. You know… when you really think about it, it is the only course of action that I as a Christian can take! I mean, what else whould I do? Thank God for a negative report… hoping or expecting to hear how bad things are?
I personally believe that this is what the Word of God instructs me to do. I believe it is the outlook that I am supposed to have! If I read it right, I understand that this was exactly what Jesus was telling His disciples at dinner on the evening of His arrest which would culminate in His crucifixion on the cross at Calvary. In John 14:27 Jesus announced “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (MKJV)
Jesus knew what was ahead for Him, and I am also pretty sure that He understood the thoughts and feelings that would face His followers as they witnessed the events of the next few days unfold before their eyes. His advice to them before the events happened was to “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” As I studied this over the last few days I began to realize the importance of the two purposely stated phrases “Let not…” and “neither let…” It would seem that Jesus was making the point that it is a conscience decision that they or we as Christians in today’s world have to make. And I also think that Jesus was clearly implying by the timing of His statement before they were faced with the decision, that it was something they as well as we today have to decide ahead of time. It is a lifestyle decision that we have to make that we will not even consider reversing in the face of trouble.
The Easy To Read translation has an interesting slant on part of this verse saying: “I give you peace in a different way than the world does…” This makes sense to me in that we should expect the Lord’s peace to be different than what the world presents to us. Many times His peace doesn’t quite make sense when compared to what our eyes are seeing or our ears are hearing.
Over the last few years I have come to expect the world’s reactions to my wife’s health concerns and our overwhelming peace about it to be different than ours. What has confused and at times frustrated me (okay… and has gotten me a bit upset at times…) was when I see believers taking the world’s pattern of thought and subsequent response of hopelessness. As believers we have the answer. It befuddles me to try and understand why these folks don’t take hold of the heavenly rope that the Word tosses to us!
What I have learned firsthand is that most people in the world want to have the hope that we have! I have seen people’s entire countenance change after they hear just a few words about the expectations of God and His promises to us concerning Piper’s good health. I can’t say the same thing about the Christians who seemed to have lost their hope. It is almost like they are afraid to give into our expectations of God’s best. I wonder if they are afraid of us being disappointed or afraid for themselves? At that point in the juncture, I believe that it is their faith that is on the line and not ours. We have already made the decision in agreement with Jesus’ instructions in John 14:27, and we will NOT be dissuaded!
Where might you stand today? Have you made the decision to “Let not?” According to the Savior of the world, the benefits of that decision come jam-packed with His peace that yes… is far different from what the world has to offer, and is a “peace which goes beyond anything we can imagine,” and comes with a warranty that will “guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 God’s Word ©)
I may not have purchased the extended car warranty with our new Mustang a few months ago, but Jesus’ warranty of His peace is one that I will never leave home without! How about you? Have a good day. Stay in tune and on track to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s PEACE am I expecting today?”