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For most of us world is a battleground. At times we may experience a time of rest at the end of the day, but usually the daily battles of work, family, commute, and general business take their toll on us don't they? Especially in times of great desperation and frustration we lose control of our focus, direction and even emotions. I can speak from personal experience that trials reveal our weaknesses and fraility. They force us to seek a way to cope. For the follower of Christ, trials force us continually to Him, our God and comforter.
Jesus said to His disciples, just as God said to His people many times.
"Do not fear!"
"Do not be troubled!"
"The tense of these verses often times are not carried over into our English translations." as one Bible scholar recently told me.
These many verses contain verbs that are in a tense that descibe an emphatic imperitive command. We often try to capture emphasis with an exclamation mark. However, our exclamation marks come at the end of sentence and tends to communicate the entire sentence was exclaimed rather than one particular word or clause. Most of the time these emphatics phrases are left out.
Enough with the grammar lesson...
Jesus gave His followers a promise in conjuction with His command not to be afraid. His said that He gives us peace. And He gives not as the world does. He gives us this peace without price per pill, without taking it back, or without manipulation.
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.
This relational gift of peace is something we must receive. It is something that will not simply enter us through osmosis or unconscious means. It is something we cling to instead of fear and worry , something we can only have as we take hold of Him. We ask through prayer and receive through faith the promise of His peace.
In the fierce storms, in personal despair, in pain and anguish, in the harsh conditions of survival these words of our LORD become a source of life and strength to us.
So what can we do but act!? Our God sees our hearts and knows everything that is going on within us but He responds to our actions. So if you are in need, cry out for it, and show God how much you need His peace today. In prayer, in song, with fasting, with your acts of devotion God will certainly grant the peace you need. His peace is real and tangible and it is a gift from His heart. He knows you need it, and that is why He promises it for us.
For one day we will awake to a new world and the old things will have passed away. But till that day comes, hold onto Him and He will keep your soul and bless you greatly. Amen.