“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 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 14:25-27
But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
which cannot rest,
whose waves cast up mire and mud.
“There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
– Isaiah 57:20-21
“There are times in our lives when our peace is based simply on our own ignorance. But when we are awakened to the realities of life, true inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus. When our Lord speaks peace, He creates peace, because the words that He speaks are always ‘spirit, and they are life’ (John 6:63). Have I ever received what Jesus speaks? ‘…My peace I give to you…’— a peace that comes from looking into His face and fully understanding and receiving His quiet contentment.
“Are you severely troubled right now? Are you afraid and confused by the waves and the turbulence God sovereignly allows to enter your life? Have you left no stone of your faith unturned, yet still not found any well of peace, joy, or comfort? Does your life seem completely barren to you? Then look up and receive the quiet contentment of the Lord Jesus. Reflecting His peace is proof that you are right with God, because you are exhibiting the freedom to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. Allowing anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you either causes you to become troubled or gives you a false sense of security.”
– Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
I seem to have the peace and tranquility of a duck. Everything seems fine above the surface of the water, but underneath, I seem to paddle like crazy.
My wife has been home for nearly a week, and we still don’t have a set routine, nor do we have all the home adjustments in place. But even before our summer of health problems that we would wish to forget (but we never will), we were scrambling to put our lives together after we had our sons and their families all in the house at the same time. Before that, we were throwing out stuff that wasn’t necessary and buying cots, mattresses, etc. All of that to prepare for our family reunion, of sorts. Our older son had never seen our younger son’s two youngest children.
The point is, there is always something happening. There is something for which to prepare. There is something from which to recover. Between those two is life, and life is stressful, in itself.
My mother used to say, “There is no rest for the wicked, and the righteous don’t need it.” The first half of her saying is semi-Biblical from the Isaiah Scripture above, but the second half is not Biblical at all. If the righteous did not need rest, or peace, then the Holy Spirit would not come to earth to provide it. Then again, my mother was a bit of a workaholic. (Wow, what an understatement!)
The Scripture from John 14 shows that Jesus knew that we needed Peace. He knew we needed rest from this hectic world. And the Holy Spirit can provide that Peace in the midst of the turmoil around you.
What our problem is much of the time is that we don’t listen to the Holy Spirit. We do not accept the peace or the rest. Resting time is nonproductive time. Let’s do some work. We can get read while sitting on the toilet. We can rehearse our business presentation while taking a shower. Let’s not waste a second of the day.
Do you feel the approaching heart attack?
How many are like me, listening to the television while doing something on the tablet and keeping an ear out for chimes from the cell phone regarding incoming messages and such?
When we do that, is it even possible to listen to the Holy Spirit?
I have heard counselors, and productivity experts, say, “You have to slow down to get there faster.”
The reply to that statement from any boss that I ever had was a Bronx cheer or worse. It was always “Full speed ahead, especially if we can turn the latest productivity expert into roadkill.”
But what those productivity experts were saying is that taking time to plan and prioritize will make things run smoother. I always did that. It drove the boss crazy when I seemed to fall behind the first day. They thought I wasn’t taking the deadline seriously, but they never budgeted for a planning phase nor looked at my track record. I always finished on time, and never with that panic exhibited by the rest of the department. We had one project manager, years ago, who was so bad that all the boss had to say to the rest of us was that this guy had less than a month before delivery. The rest of us would drop our important work, work that would make a profit, and ask, “Can I help you in any way?” Of course, we could. Practically nothing had been completed.
But when we are dealt that next trial, we need to take a few deep breaths. We need to pray. For through these trials, we grow as Christians – but only if we learn from the trial. Being calm in the midst of crisis shows God working within you for others to see. Yes, people can actually see Peace in you. The Holy Spirit is not just keeping you calm, He is affecting others around you. And that Peace is showing God’s love in the process.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.