THE ABIDING PEACE
by Ruth Mba
News on cable and satellite television shows that the whole world is troubled. There is no place anywhere on earth where there is peace and security. Homes which are supposed to be a haven of peace and security are shaking and scattering. The world is talking about peace but it is a mere slogan. It cannot give what it does not have. The best it can offer is a remedial solution after the peace is gone. Many women and men are going here and there, desperately in search of peace. Some have taken to alcoholic beverages, hard drugs, marijuana, coke (cocaine), and the like to assuage tension and hide away from challenges of life. Others are involved in sensual pleasures (extra marital affairs, fornication, sexual perversions etc.) for the same reason.
But all these cannot give peace. The Lord Jesus is freely offering peace and rest from all sorts of struggles to anyone who comes to Him.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29).
The peace the Lord offers is not the absence of troubles and challenges. It is an inner assurance and confidence and freedom from agitation in the midst of any situation. Jesus is PEACE Himself. He is peace personified. The Scriptures say, “… And His name will be called …Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6). “For He Himself is our peace… (Eph 2:14).
Two of Jesus’ disciples in Luke 24:14 -19 left Jerusalem to go to Emmaus on their own. They were so confused, fearful, disappointed and worried about what had happened (the crucifixion of Jesus) that they could not recognize the Lord nor discern the voice of the One they had been following. They dared to lead themselves. Though the distance between the two localities was not long, these two disciples could have missed out forever, if not for the mercy of God. While they were walking and talking and reasoning together, the Lord Himself drew near and went with them along the way. But they did not recognize Him.
Like them, you may have found yourself in such a terrible state that you have decided to go it alone; thus, living your own life outside the circle of God’s control. You live as if there is no God and so you are not accountable to any one for your actions. The Bible says: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way” (Isa 53:6). You may even have contemplated suicide several times because of confusion and lack of peace in your life.
I do not know how far you have travelled away from the Lord and His will for your life. I do not even know what pushed you or led you astray; it may have been the love of the world, or the desires of the flesh. While in the pursuit of these, you may have missed out and lost your peace. You spend sleepless nights and have now resorted to living on drugs, taking alcoholic drinks or even smoking. I do not know how long you have been struggling alone in your corner against these forces of darkness that assault your soul. You may even be pretending that it is well with your soul because of your so called status in the church or even your social position. But the Bible says, “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” Is.48:22; 57:21
The Lord is using this opportunity to come to you again before the night comes when no man can do anything, saying: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn. 14:27). The Lord Jesus Christ has seen your state, how troubled you are. He has been coming to you with this offer of peace in diverse ways but you have been despising and ignoring Him. He comes through the preachers of the gospel, while you are reading, or studying His Word, or reading Christian literature just as you are doing now. At other times, it is through dreams or life circumstances. In fact, He has countless ways of reaching us. Jesus is again offering Himself to you. His presence in your heart is your only hope of experiencing this peace. He is standing at the door of your heart right now and knocking: “… If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in…”(Rev.3:20 GNB). Confess all your sins to Him. Ask Him to forgive you. Allow Him to come into your heart. When He comes in, you will experience the peace of His presence and every agitation and fear will cease. It is an abiding and overwhelming peace. The joy of His presence will flood your heart as it did those disciples of old. Constrain Him to abide in your heart. Remember when those disciples neared Emmaus, they constrained Him to abide with them and it was this generous act of hospitality that turned their story around and put them back on track for life. This can be your story. Ask Him to come in NOW.
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