Lent Devotional | week four
The complaints have been around before now. What used to be a fairly sleepy little town has become overwhelmed with people, places, traffic, activity, and more traffic. What used to take a few minutes by car now takes what seems like forever. The busyness can begin to be too much. If you add to that the inundation of messages we receive all the time. There are hundreds of television stations, streaming services, social media outlets, satellite radio, and all of this at our fingertips 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The question is quite simple, where do we find peace? Peace is becoming harder to find in the world we live in. There are more ways to send us messages, more activities to be involved in, and more of everything than ever before. What does peace even look like?
In the message yesterday I said that I believe miraculous peace is not found in the absence of noise and activity. Miraculous peace is found everywhere and anywhere. Jesus was in the back of the boat asleep when the disciples were afraid for their life. What was the difference? — the presence of miraculous peace with Jesus. Jesus might have well been anywhere and in any circumstance. It wouldn’t have mattered one bit. The kind of peace Jesus possessed was miraculous because it was not dependent on the circumstance in which he found himself. It was miraculous because of the faith he had to know that he was going to be fine. Jesus knew that God the Father had sent him for a purpose. Jesus also knew that God the Father was going to watch over him. We were reminded of the words of Psalm 121, “He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Jesus knew that God the Father was watching over him and would not take his eyes off him. As Christine Caine [author, speaker, founder of A21] says, “There is no need for both of us to be awake.” Jesus knew that he could sleep without worry or concern because the creator of the wind and waves was on watch over him.
Have you been waiting for the absence of noise, activity, or busyness to have peace? Miraculous peace is not bound to those circumstances. Miraculous peace helps us to get through those circumstances. The faith we have in Jesus will give us miraculous peace in the middle of the storm. You don’t have to wait another second—it is available now. Whatever you are going through now—or whatever you will go through tomorrow—does not dictate the amount of peace you are able to experience. To experience the miraculous peace that Jesus demonstrated we need to place all of our faith and trust in Jesus. We need to know that Jesus is with us, watching over us, and giving us peace. One of my favorite passages of Scripture is John 14:27 where Jesus tells his followers, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.” The peace Jesus gifts us with is a sleep soundly in the back of the boat while the storm rages on and everyone else is freaking out kind of peace.
Will you take hold of this peace today? Will you place all of your faith and trust in Jesus’ ability to give you peace? Will you and I stop looking at the storms in our life and fix our eyes on our Savior? If we will … we will find miraculous peace in Jesus for all of life.
As you think about the miraculous peace from Jesus pray over and answer these questions:
1. Have you been going through a storm?
2. Where had your focus been? On the wind and the waves? Or on Jesus?
3. What is it about your circumstances that seems overwhelming?
4. How could Jesus bring peace in the middle of the storm?
5. What will you do this week to take your focus off the storm and put it on the Savior?
6. Is there anyone you can ask to pray for you and hold you accountable?
7. How does all of this inform the way we pray for miraculous peace for ourselves and others?
Almighty God, kindle in every heart the true love of peace, and guide us with your wisdom. May those in power seek peace instead of power. Help us to keep our eyes on Jesus instead of the wind and the waves in our life. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit grant us the miraculous peace of Jesus in all of our circumstances. May this peace be evident in all we do so everyone around us will gain knowledge of your love for them. We pray this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Adapted from The Book of Common Prayer