Bible Verse: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
Bible Reading: Psalm 27:1; Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 14:22-31
There is so much fear in the world today that it has subtly crept into the hearts and minds of Christians as well.
Even though we read Scriptures like Psalm 27:1(“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”), we still find so many believers living in fear.
I certainly have not been immune to the power of fear in my life. There have been times I have had to confront the fear of man, the fear of the future, the fear of failure, the fear of rejection and the fear of loneliness.
How about you? And when you are in those places of fear, how is your peace level? Mine is usually pretty low. Why? There could be many reasons, but let me share just two possibilities with you:
1. We have settled for the world’s peace. The theme verse for today seems to infer that the world’s peace ultimately leaves us troubled and afraid. The world’s peace can never compare because it is built on a foundation of sin. Without Christ and His Kingdom, sin is the foundation of our world. Only Jesus can solve this core problem. That means that, rather than solving the real problem, the world only offers peace by trying to deal with symptoms, thus making it shaky and temporary. As symptoms change, so do the fixes, leaving people feeling very insecure and out of peace.
2. We have focused on the wrong things. Fear and faith can’t co-exist, so if I want to increase my faith level, my fear must decrease. I have found that what, or more importantly, Who my mind is focused on determines how much faith and fear I have.
Remember the story of Peter walking on the water? (Matthew 14:22-31) He was doing just fine when he was focused on Jesus. But when his focus started to fix on the wind and the waves, he began to sink. This has always been a simple but powerful reminder for me that my focus is going to grow my faith or slow my faith. When I focus my heart and mind on Jesus, the Prince of Peace, my faith grows. The opposite is also true.
King Solomon rightly said in Proverbs 4:23 that we are to guard our hearts above all else because it determines the course of our lives. We don’t want fear dictating our future. Let’s take this devotional as a reminder to put our focus back on God, guard against fearful thoughts, and live the life of faith that He has called us to, finding His peace as we do.
Reflection: Where are the places in your life where fear shows up? What are some things you can do to guard against fear?
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for Your peace. The world’s peace leaves us troubled and afraid. Today, we offer our whole hearts to You. Search out any fearful or anxious thought in me and lead me to the courageous life You have called me to.
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