In This Troubled World, Where Do We Find The Peace Jesus Promised?

In this troubled world we have many reasons to worry. But at Christmas we remember Jesus offers us a peace with God which can not be shaken.

In This Troubled World, Where Do We Find The Peace Jesus Promised?

December 8, 2022

After hearing the loud pop, I glanced up at the windshield. To my dismay, I saw two less-than-dime-size holes. Immediately my heart dropped. Why did this have to happen?

Some generous and longtime friends had lent me their car during my short stay in Colorado. And on this, my last day, traffic caused gravel to kick up from the highway and hit the windshield. My worry over damaging their car had just become a reality.

Sighing, I called my friend and promised to make things right. She kindly told me not to worry  as it was “just a car”. She may as well have told me not to breathe. On that day I needed to plan future steps for the care of my aging mother. Those concerns pushed this one to the back of my mind. But whenever I had a free moment, I searched for solutions to make things right with my friends. 

Worry has been a constant companion in my life. From a very young age I either fixated my mind on my problems, or allowed my thoughts to dwell on something unpleasant that might happen. It seems the more I age, the more I experience opportunities to worry. And the more I have to fight this battle in my mind.

For years I’ve held on to this promise from Jesus:

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 NIV)

When I think of peace, I think of an absence of trouble, or strife. But this is not the kind of peace Jesus offers us. In fact, He warns us we will have trouble in this world, but that in the midst of these troubles we can have peace (John 16:33). The peace Jesus offers us centers on our salvation.

Paul speaks of this peace in his letter to the Romans:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. (Romans 5:1-2a NIV emphasis added)

The word translated as justified, dikaioó, means to be shown as righteous or to be declared righteous. The righteous are without sin, or faults. I once heard someone say the word justified can be broken down like this : just as if I’d (never sinned). 

At the end of the day, I brought the car back to my friends’ house. When they came out to see the damage, they started to laugh. The cracks had been there when they bought the car! As my friend pointed out, I had spent the day worrying and feeling sad over something I didn’t do. In that moment I felt anew the peace that comes from being found without fault. This is the peace we experience with God. He justifies us and treats us as if we have done nothing wrong

This is the peace we celebrate at Christmas. At Jesus’ birth the angels said:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
     and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14 NIV)

As believers and followers of Jesus, this peace is ours and it can never be taken from us ~ no matter what troubles we experience in this broken world.

Whatever circumstances I may face this Christmas season, I pray to remember and rejoice in the peace Jesus offers us. Wherever your journey takes you, I pray you can do the same.  

 

In This Troubled World, Where Do We Find The Peace Jesus Promised?

December 8, 2022

In this troubled world we have many reasons to worry. But at Christmas we remember Jesus offers us a peace with God which can not be shaken.

After hearing the loud pop, I glanced up at the windshield. To my dismay, I saw two less-than-dime-size holes. Immediately my heart dropped. Why did this have to happen?

Some generous and longtime friends had lent me their car during my short stay in Colorado. And on this, my last day, traffic caused gravel to kick up from the highway and hit the windshield. My worry over damaging their car had just become a reality.

Sighing, I called my friend and promised to make things right. She kindly told me not to worry  as it was “just a car”. She may as well have told me not to breathe. On that day I needed to plan future steps for the care of my aging mother. Those concerns pushed this one to the back of my mind. But whenever I had a free moment, I searched for solutions to make things right with my friends. 

Worry has been a constant companion in my life. From a very young age I either fixated my mind on my problems, or allowed my thoughts to dwell on something unpleasant that might happen. It seems the more I age, the more I experience opportunities to worry. And the more I have to fight this battle in my mind.

For years I’ve held on to this promise from Jesus:

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 NIV)

When I think of peace, I think of an absence of trouble, or strife. But this is not the kind of peace Jesus offers us. In fact, He warns us we will have trouble in this world, but that in the midst of these troubles we can have peace (John 16:33). The peace Jesus offers us centers on our salvation.

Paul speaks of this peace in his letter to the Romans:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. (Romans 5:1-2a NIV emphasis added)

The word translated as justified, dikaioó, means to be shown as righteous or to be declared righteous. The righteous are without sin, or faults. I once heard someone say the word justified can be broken down like this : just as if I’d (never sinned). 

At the end of the day, I brought the car back to my friends’ house. When they came out to see the damage, they started to laugh. The cracks had been there when they bought the car! As my friend pointed out, I had spent the day worrying and feeling sad over something I didn’t do. In that moment I felt anew the peace that comes from being found without fault. This is the peace we experience with God. He justifies us and treats us as if we have done nothing wrong

This is the peace we celebrate at Christmas. At Jesus’ birth the angels said:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
     and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14 NIV)

As believers and followers of Jesus, this peace is ours and it can never be taken from us ~ no matter what troubles we experience in this broken world.

Whatever circumstances I may face this Christmas season, I pray to remember and rejoice in the peace Jesus offers us. Wherever your journey takes you, I pray you can do the same.  

 

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2 Comments

  1. Teresa on December 9, 2022 at 7:19 AM

    Shirley, I love your blog today, because I also worry about everything and most of my worry has nothing to do with what is going on. I love that God is always here for me and is working in me not to let worry overtake my life. I also love how God puts people in our lives to help when we need. I am so glad he put you in my life.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on December 11, 2022 at 2:27 PM

      Thank you Teresa! I also love how God works with us and gives us the people we need. I am so glad put you in my life, too!💕

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