Peace in Difficult Times
We are in the midst of a lockdown. As a pastor, counselor and a teacher, it is a new experience for me to be shut down like this. I wonder if this is the best of times or the worst of times. But you can either make it the best time or the worst time. As a counselor and as a motivational speaker, I would like to share my reflections with you.
Difficult times are a reality of life
The first thing that I want to share is “difficult times are a reality of life”. We cannot escape from this reality. True, the magnitude of hardship is far greater than we can imagine but we can go through it. It is difficult but we can live through it and still hope for the best.
My son, while in school would often say “let us prepare for the worst and hope for the best”. It’s good to be realistic. We are living in a difficult time, but this is no time to get discouraged or to be disappointed, life is full of turns and twists. At this time of quarantine, one of the things that you and I should maintain is the peace that comes from God.
Coronavirus doesn't have the final word. Only God has the final word. If we are God’s children, even though we go through difficult times, ultimately God will make something beautiful out of it and we will come out victorious, stronger, more wonderful, and more precious than ever before.
Peace be with you
When Jesus rose again, he came to the disciples. John chapter 20 verse 20 - 21 reads, “And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
The disciples were frightened and scared. They were indoors and quarantined. So when you and I are in this stage of quarantine, we are in good company. The disciples experienced it, so nothing strange is happening right now. The Lord and the disciples who went before us also have experienced quarantine. Jesus comes into that very scene and He says these words, “Peace be with you!” Isn't that fascinating!
Looking at it, we would have wanted Him to say, “Don't be afraid. Don't be scared.” Do not fear is a phrase which is often repeated in Scripture. But at this juncture, when the disciples were frightened, Jesus said, “Peace be with you”. This occurs in the last three verses that I read to you, “Peace be with you” is mentioned twice. Now, the word “peace” has a very deep significance in Hebrew. It means wholeness. It means Tranquility, calmness and rest.
My peace I give to you; not as the world gives
John 14 verse 27 says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful”. Isn’t it fascinating that Jesus our Lord should say, “peace I leave with you.” The greatest gift our Lord Jesus Christ left behind is, His peace. Jesus Christ our Lord wants you and me as His believers to have the very peace that He enjoyed while He was on this Earth. Hallelujah!
In Mark 4: 35 - 41, Lord Jesus was present in the boat. The storm and winds blew hard. The waves rose high and the disciples were scared. They woke up Jesus and said, “Don't you care that we are perishing.” In the midst of the storm, Jesus just slept through. Jesus could sleep in the midst of the storm because he knew His Father was in control.
During this current coronavirus, let us not allow fear to grip us. May it never keep us away from enjoying life and living in the peace that Jesus left behind. Jesus gives us his peace but you and I can ruin it.
Jesus said, “my peace I give unto you; not as the world gives.” The world sometimes gives you peace and things might go well and you feel peaceful. In times such as this, the world will never give you even one iota of peace. Then where do we go? You go to the Lord Jesus Christ who will give peace not as the world gives. He gives us His peace instantly, continuously and as long as you don't let your heart be troubled or go into fear.
Jesus brings peace into our lives
The Hebrew word for peace is “Shalom”. Shalom has a deep meaning - destroying what is controlling and establishing chaos.
We need to recognize what is controlling and causing chaos - is it fear, or anxiety, or worry or unforgiveness or is it lust? What is that which is controlling and dominating you and ultimately causing chaos and confusion in your life?
Bring that to the Lord Jesus. Jesus came into the room that was locked, the disciples were quarantined and living in fear and He said, “Peace be with you.” In such a time as this, May the peace of God which passes all understanding, sustain us and comfort us and may that peace uphold us now and may that God of peace be with you, now and forevermore.
Rev K Vasudevan is a Christian Counsellor based in Bangalore
Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Unsplash
For Other Articles by Rev K Vasudevan - Happiness Unlimited