Yesterday, as children and families were preparing to dress up for Trick or Treating, fourteen inches of rain hit Austin, Texas. Flash flooding hit several neighborhoods and folks had to be rescued from their rooftops. In another part of the country, a small child was accidentally killed by a car while gathering candy in his Halloween costume. Problems are all around us.
Upon waking , I picked up my Kindle Fire (with a cup of coffee, of course) and began to read the morning news. Israel flew military planes into Syria and bombed some weapon sites. Republicans and Democrats continue to argue about Obamacare. Murders here, murders there. Natural disasters, diseases, wars. Problems are all around us.
I pastor a church and must daily face the problems of life. Married couples are fighting and need counseling. Good people are fighting cancer. There is a big hole in a wall of our educational building that needs fixing. The exterior light next to our Ladies Bible Study building is out—and it must get replaced before some dear woman falls and gets hurt! Problems are all around us.
In the midst of our real problems, it is hard to find real peace. The world around us talks about peace, but just can’t seem to deliver on its promises. What we need is real peace…peace on the inside, not just on the outside.
Enter Jesus. In John 14:27, we have these recorded words of our Lord: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. [italics added for emphasis] Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” And then, just minutes before He was arrested to be crucified, Jesus proclaimed to His followers: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; [real problems] but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Did you hear what Jesus said? He said that, in this world, we will have real problems. He also said that, in Him, we have real peace.
Problems will never disappear in this life, in spite of our efforts to ignore them or wish them away. But….be of “good cheer!” Cheer up! Jesus can give you real peace in the presence of real problems. Take your problems and give them to Jesus today. Ask Him to give you the ability to face your problems and overcome them. (1 John 5:4-5)
I have no control over the politicians in Washington, nor the weather, nor people who kill other people. But I do have control over my choices. And this morning, I choose real peace as I face the real problems in life. Bring it on world!!