Peace in the Midst of Tribulation (John 16 – 18)

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33, ESV

Some of the quietest moments of my life, where I have heard the voice of God the loudest, weren’t while I was catching coffee at sunrise, but were when I was facing the fierce opposition or dealing with the issues of health (like open heart surgery at age 39). In those moments I had a peace that transcended my external experiences. I saw all the turmoil going on, knew the questions I had, but simply had a peace and confidence the Lord was with me. I remember facing the most challenging day of my life when I found out I had a stroke with complete poise and calm knowing that God in his sovereignty had allowed this to happen.

Sometimes we look for peace in the wrong places. We imagine that there will peace if we don’t face tribulation or conflict. We can think that if we “don’t rock the boat” everything will be ok. But Jesus had a different kind of peace, a deaper peace to give to his disciples. He fortold all that he would face so that they would know that even in the mist of the earth shattering, world rocking moments ahead, that they could have perfect peace in Him.

The disciples needed to know that He was laying down His life, it wasn’t being taken. They needed to know that this was God’s plan all along and that God always does what He purposes. They needed to know that when they abanoned Him, He wasn’t alone and when they would later face persecution, He wouldn’t abandon them. They needed to know that He knew they would abandon Him, and He still loved them.

Father, thank you for your perfect peace that transcends the turmoil that we often find ourselves tangled up in. Thank you, “that even in the presence of our enemies you prepare a table before us.” Peace doesn’t come to us in the ways we would always want or expect, but peace come through you. Thank you for being my peace today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Overcoming Insecurity: How Leah Became a Princess

At some time or another we all wrestle with insecurity. Insecurity acts like emptiness. It’s a place where we feel inadequate, like something is missing. Sometimes our insecurity can cause us to cross lines we normally wouldn’t cross. We try and cover over a perceived lack, fill the void in our life, go on a quest for what we perceive to be missing. We can look for fulfillment in things like money. We may or may not have a lot of it. When things go well, we buy something. When they don’t go well, we buy something. Money becomes our fix. We sooth over our hurts with a new stereo, set of sunglasses or even just compulsive shopping spree at check out center at Walmart.

Some of us look for fulfillment in a relationship, we think that if we find the right guy or the right girl that it will fix whatever is broken so deep inside of us. We go from relationship to relationship, or we go on in a doomed relationship because we are scared to face life alone. We make compromises to please the other person, just to stay in the relationship.

I want to tell you a story about Leah. Leah had a big insecurity in her life that caused her to make big compromises. She was lonely and the people who were supposed to love and support her, like her dad, didn’t have much confidence in her. Leah just wanted to be loved and one day someone gave her the opportunity to take a short cut to have all of her dreams come true. She just had to cross a line. The kind that once you cross it, you can never come back. I don’t know how Leah felt about crossing the line, but I know that she did it… She wanted to be loved that badly. She would do ANYTHING to fill the void in her life. Continue reading “Overcoming Insecurity: How Leah Became a Princess”