Jesus said, “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” (John 14:27).
Many Christians have troubled hearts and some live in fear, secretly plagued with panic, turmoil and sleepless nights. For many, peace comes and goes, leaving them worried, restless and battered by stress. Yet, Zacharias prophesied that the Messiah would come “to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life” (Luke 1:74-75).
Beloved, Jesus came to this earth and died for sinful man so that we could walk with God without fear and enjoy his peace all the days of our lives! This includes times of suffering, turmoil, testing, and uncertainty. It means both good days and bad days. No matter what comes our way, we are to enjoy peace.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace! At his birth the angels sang, “Peace on earth” (see Luke 2:14) and he promised of himself, “In Me you may have peace” (John 16:33). Peace is what the gospel is all about: “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:36).
In this world we will face tribulation, persecution and fiery trials. We will be tempted and we will suffer for the sake of Christ. Still we are to serve him in righteousness, full of peace and joy in the Holy Spirit at all times. Paul’s prayer for all believers was this: “May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
Think of it — peace in every circumstance! Truly that is supernatural but it is available to all who have been justified by faith and reach out to the Savior.
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house” (Hebrews 3:1-2).
The book of Hebrews offers a strong, vital word to all who are “partakers of the heavenly calling.” This means that you hear heaven calling you. Even now heaven is calling for a people who are free from the materialism and foolishness of this world — Christians who wake up each morning and hear Jesus calling them to himself. They look at all that surrounds them and cry inwardly, “Jesus, my heart is not here, my future is not here. Nothing in this world satisfies me. You alone, Jesus, are my life.”
“[Jesus] was faithful to Him who appointed Him” (Hebrews 3:2). Faithfulness means simply believing that God will keep his Word to us. In this sense, we are to “hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Hebrews 3:14).
Over time, as your trials increase and the battles grow more intense, you may become weary. Daily, you have an enemy who is out to destroy you; he is a liar and a seducer. Jesus said, “The devil … does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him … he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Satan doesn’t waste his time lying to sinners; they are already held prisoner by his deception. No, he lies to those believers whose hearts are set on the Lord. In fact, Satan uses his most subtle, convincing lies against those who are determined to enter God’s provided rest.
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God … Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:9, 11). “Resting in God” means to enter a place of total trust in His Word. It is a place of faith, a continuous confidence that God is with us, that He cannot fail, and that he will see us through to the end.
Spend time with your Father today and let the Holy Spirit minister to your heart and strengthen you. Find rest for your weary soul with a total surrender to God.
David acknowledged God’s great mercy when he said, “I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly” (Psalm 40:10).
David was grateful to God for such great love because he was deeply conscious of his own failings. “My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up” (40:12). No matter how badly people have sinned, God’s love still reaches them. He sent his Son as a sacrifice for this very purpose.
“Because your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You” (Psalm 63:3). This life is short! Yet God’s love will endure forever. A billion years from now, Jesus will be as tender and loving to us as he is now.
The greatest proclamation of his lovingkindness is joyful praise. Stop and think for a moment: God is not mad at you. If you are ready to forsake your sins, you can be forgiven and restored this very moment. The Word says that nothing can come between our Lord and us: no sin, no guilt, no condemning thoughts.
If you really understood how tender He is toward you — how patient, how caring, how ready to forgive and bless — you would not be able to contain yourself. You would shout and praise Him until you had no voice left!
Beloved, Jesus is coming — and we're clean. We're ready to go. You have a loving, tender Father who cares about you. He's bottled every tear you've ever shed. He's seen every need. He's known your every thought — and He loves you!
“A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return” (Luke 19:12).
Jesus tells the parable of a nobleman who entrusted some of his servants with equal amounts of money to manage while he was away on a trip. Upon his return, the master asked for an accounting from the servants to evaluate how faithful each had been in his assignment.
The first servant reported that he had made some good investments and enjoyed a profit. “Lord, your mina had made ten minas more” (Luke 19:16). This servant was generously rewarded for his wise stewardship. Likewise, the second reported success and was rewarded accordingly. However, the third servant had played it safe because he feared his master, and he was harshly judged by the nobleman (see Luke 19:18-26).
This parable of Jesus illustrates two types of environments and two types of men. One type is building an environment of faith, as he believes God is moving in his midst and will do great things. But the other type represents a ministry of fear where the Lord is seen as a difficult taskmaster.
The man who walks in suspicion fears his gifts will not be acceptable to God. He is overly cautious and extremely conservative. Such a minister lives in fear and is always afraid of doing something wrong. He works hard to earn his Father’s love but does not have enough faith to step out. He preaches good sermons but has no vision.
You can choose which environment you wish to live in. The believer who lives in an environment of faith glorifies God no matter how dire his circumstances. He is filled with joy and praise to Jesus for his goodness because he knows his sins are washed away. On the other hand, it is sad to observe fearful Christians who are not free enough to totally trust their loving Father.
I encourage you to trust your Savior and accept the freedom he gives you. He wants you to live an abundant, overcoming life in him, and he invites you to run into that safe place of faith today!
My heart sings with the thought that throughout scriptural history, when God wanted to do something profound, he often looked for the person who was the least able to make it happen. When he wanted to bring a prophet to the nation, he looked for a barren womb in a woman named Hannah. When he wanted to deliver his people from the hand of the Midianites, he appeared to Gideon — the least of his father’s house in the tribe of Manasseh. When he wanted to give an incredible promise to a man named Abraham, telling him that he would have descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the whole world would be blessed through him, he waited until Abraham had no possible way of doing it in his own strength.
After Solomon prayed at the completion of the temple, the Lord appeared to him at night and said, “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice … If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place” (2 Chronicles 7:12-15).
I see something of the character of God in this passage of Scripture: his willingness to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. You see, the kingdom of God is about men and women becoming all that God destined us to be; laying hold of things that are not within our natural grasp; understanding truths which our natural minds do not know; and living in freedom which any amount of natural effort cannot bring us into. The kingdom of God is about miracles and mercy!
The Lord is waiting for ordinary people like you and me to discover something about his heart. Come to him on behalf of the lost of this day and become a vital part of his overall plan.
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001.