Friday, June 17, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: True Peace

Peace in the Middle of the Storm
A devotional by Erin M. Handley

“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.”– John 14:27 (NIV)

Inhale serenity. Exhale peace.

As you breathe in and close your eyes, you are able to see yourself in the place that brings you the peace you are needing in that moment. It may be somewhere in nature—in the woods, on a beach, or near a lake. Or it may be in a room that is still and free from all distractions. Being in this place allows you to center your thoughts and your emotions. While in this place you find a new sense of tranquility.

When you open your eyes, you are faced with the reality that brings anxiety, despair, and feelings of defeat. This real-life experience is what elevates the urge to ‘press pause’ on everything that is going on around you. While you are not able to control everything that happens externally, you are able to control how you think, feel, and behave in that moment. Many of us can attest that these are the moments that often require taking an internal retreat to find a moment to rest, reset, and rejuvenate. It’s also safe to say that many of us have settled with seeking the peace in the midst of the storm.

What happens when we change the narrative to this story?

In John 14:27, Jesus Christ says, “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.” There have been many times that we are faced with what the world has given us, and we do walk away troubled and afraid. But it is important to remember that when Jesus delivered this message of encouragement to His disciples, He did not specify which disciple this message was for. He was answering a question that was posed by one of the disciples, but the response was directed to all of His disciples.

The great thing about it is that if you have accepted Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior, then you are a disciple, too! So, when the scripture says that He gives the peace to you and leaves the peace with you, then you don’t have to go and seek the peace in the midst of the storm. You already have it.

There are others who have not taken that step to accept Jesus into their heart, and that’s okay. We know it can be a daunting process when you don’t know what the process looks like. It is even more worrisome when fear and doubt force them to address that they don’t know what is required of them if (and when) they do take that step. This is another situation that can cause anxiety, despair, and feelings of defeat. This is why everyone needs to see tangible examples of the peace that already exists within their storm.

If you are a person who has not asked Jesus into your heart and would like to, say this prayer:
"Dear Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God and that You died for my sins and rose from the dead. Because of the sacrifice You made for me, I accept you as my Lord and Savior and ask that You forgive me of my sins and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I know that through You and Your works, I am a new person in you. In Your Name I pray. Amen.”

Be sure to connect with other followers of Jesus Christ who want to walk with you on your faith journey as a believer in God.

In closing, remember:
God equips all of His disciples to be the peaceful in the midst of the storm. The next time you find yourself in that difficult situation and wanting to retreat and find the peace, remember that God can calm your anxiety and give you a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). Only He can speak “Peace be still” (Mark 4:39) to that raging storm and stop it, all the while keeping you safe. Because of Jesus, it is possible to have peace in any storm. Life may be spinning out of control but you can still have peace because you have Jesus.

Let’s Pray: Lord, it is comforting to know that no matter how difficult the situations get, You will always nurture us, guide us, and comfort us. We also thank You for equipping us to do the things You have called us to do. We are thankful for the opportunities You orchestrate that are designed to lead us right back to you to seek refuge in you. It is in that refuge that we are reminded that You have equipped us to, through our relationship with You, bring the peace others are seeking in their moments of despair. This is what brings them all back to You. With the love, care, and intentionality You give us, all we can do is thank You and praise You for who You are. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis: Erin’s devotional message today reminds me of Laura Story’s song “Perfect Peace”. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

With an ever-growing desire to continually learn the Word of God and present teachings based on Biblical principles, Erin M. Handley is committed to her calling of teaching and inspiring others to ‘be more by doing more’. With this in mind, Erin mentors young women and appreciates seeing the growth and change in the lives she impacts.

While she sincerely enjoys mentoring and speaking to young people, she is most passionate about educating and empowering women from various stages of life about Biblical Womanhood and how to live out those principles in today’s world.

For over 15 years, Erin has worked with youth and adolescents in the fields of mental and behavioral health, education, and ministry. When reflecting on her experiences in ministry and non-ministry settings, her most memorable encounters have been those that allowed her the opportunity to teach the Word of God in a way that is most relatable to the audience she served in that moment. She has enjoyed writing since her youth, but only recently felt the call to share her writing with the world.

With an undergraduate degree in English and a graduate degree in Ministry and Pastoral Counseling, Erin M. Handley has been fortunate to be able to leverage her gifts and her passions throughout her career in Education.

Aside from reading, writing, and mentoring, Erin enjoys dancing, interior design, cooking, and most other activities which allow her to utilize her creativity.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.