Up And Down And Up Again

Dear Friends,

The past few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster ride in our ministry. We’ve faced some big hills, and then had some wonderful rides down the other side, as God has helped us handle those challenges. But as we’ve gone through this up-and-down journey, I’ve noticed a pattern developing in my life, as I’ve found myself having moments of great worry that were then followed by moments of great calm as God provided. And then the cycle of worry-then-calm would start all over again as the next challenge presented itself.

To be honest, I was feeling a bit worn out by the process, and frustrated that the sense of calm I was experiencing in-between the challenges wasn’t sticking with me. I don’t think I’m alone in this challenge, as this “cycle of worry” is something we can all struggle with. When we find ourselves facing a huge obstacle with no clear path around it, it’s easy to become anxious or to worry. Then, when the challenge is resolved, we experience a time of calm - which then quickly disappears when the next problem pops up.

The good news is, Jesus invites us to get off of that roller-coaster of worry. In John 14:27 He tells us, “I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” Jesus makes this promise as He’s headed to the cross - a stress-inducing situation if ever there was one! But instead of being overcome with fear or worry, He focused on the peace that God makes available to us.

Jesus never promised that we wouldn’t have problems. Instead, He promised that we can have peace in the midst of problems. And the great news is, the peace that comes from God is more than just a temporary absence of struggles, or of having just enough peace to get by. It’s an inward rest and quietness that comes from the Holy Spirit, and the knowledge that God sees us, knows what we’re going through, and is available to help.

The key is trusting in Jesus’ promise of peace - and then, when struggles come up, holding on to that promise, and letting the Holy Spirit go to work in our hearts and minds. So today, let’s commit to being people of peace. No matter what struggles or challenges we face, let’s give them to God - and ask for His spirit of peace to rule in us.

Amen?

Daniel

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