When there are so many challenges made, so many insistent declarations that call into question what you see, what you hear, what you think, and yes, what you know, it is hard to be certain sometimes about anything.
While doubt is not unwelcome for the honest believer who is trying to understand, it is good to hear something that reminds the faithful follower about why their journey of faith was begun in the first place.
Listen now for echoes of truth, so that you may believe still.next >
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."
John 14:27next >
Just hours before his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus tells his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” His instructions hardly seem reasonable. Later that same evening, he would plead in the garden for the cup to pass from him; wouldn’t it be reasonable that the disciples would grow anxious and fearful as well?
Instead, Jesus gives peace, but not as the world gives. We’ve all been wished peace in less-than-helpful ways. People tell us that we just need to calm down when we’re furious or hurt, and their well-meaning words only deepen our wounds. The difference with Jesus is that he doesn’t just wish us peace; he truly gives it to those who trust him. The Advocate he promised, also called the Comforter, abides with us as a source of strength and courage throughout life’s fiercest storms.
Troubles don’t always pass over us, but the Spirit of God remains alongside us to comfort, counsel, and give peace.
Joshua Haysnext >
God of peace, comfort, and consolation, sometimes you feel so far away. Thank you for coming to know and to share in my sorrows and hurts. Thank you that when you offer peace, it’s not a shallow word. Thank you for the real promise of hope to come. Help me to believe in it always. Amen.next >
It is in the knowing
And in the unknowing
That the faithful find their way through.
It is in trust despite distrust,
Harmony despite discord,
And belief despite deceit
That Love finds its ultimate victory,
Unwilling and finally unable
To let go the beloved.
Joshua Hays recently graduated from divinity school with his Master of Divinity degree. He currently works at the Passport national office in Birmingham, Alabama, and has served churches there and in Tennessee.