Peace in Perilous Times
“What is going on?” It seems like no matter where we look today and no matter where we turn, there is more bad news coming in and this question may come to your mind.
I have good news for you today and that news is the gospel of Jesus Christ - the gospel of grace. At the cross, Jesus paid the full price for our peace so I am writing this to encourage you in these perilous times that we live in!
2 Tim 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (KJV)
The word perilous means dangerous, hard to bear, hazardous or risky. This is an accurate description of what we see in our world today. Yes, we believe in the covenant of grace where Jesus empowered us by the shedding of His blood at the cross. Yet the natural reality is that everyday we are bombarded with the sound of fear so in this article I am endeavoring to disarm the power of fear and empower your life with the peace and love of God!
We know that we are in the last days because the Bible records the words of the Apostle Peter in Acts chapter 2 where he declared: “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, that in the last days I will pour out of my spirit on all flesh.” This reveals to us that we have been living in the last days since the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost.
By all the news reports that we witness on television or read about in newspapers, magazines and on-line, there is no question about the reality that we are living in perilous times.
In the Old Covenant, the prophet Jeremiah reveals a powerful truth to us concerning our life now and to me it is very encouraging.
Jeremiah 51:46 “And lest your heart faint, and you fear for the rumor that shall be heard in the land; a rumor shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumor, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.” (KJV)
Notice that the Lord is revealing to us that there is a rumor waiting for us every year. It has always been that way and will always be that way but the Lord gives us insight here to let us know so that we don’t live in fear. Rumors come for one purpose and that is to make us afraid and to discourage us as the children of God.
If the enemy can get us as God’s people to live in fear and to lose heart, then how dark is darkness going to get? If we are afraid, then how afraid are people going to get? God is letting us know that rumors will come every year to discourage the Covenant Children of God. These rumors come through the media and through other sources and they are meant to keep us in fear and to move us away from the word of God.
Jesus said to us in John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Spoken from Jesus’ mouth to your heart: “LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED, NEITHER LET IT BE AFRAID!”
In 2013 I was travelling about an eight-hour journey by road from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma in the country of Tanzania. About halfway through the journey, the driveline of the vehicle broke and we were stranded overnight in a small village along the way. After making arrangements for the vehicle to get repaired, we continued on by public transportation so that I could arrive on time for the scheduled ministry.
Four days later, we took public transportation back to where the now repaired vehicle was waiting for us to pick up. We picked it up at about 10:00 p.m. and continued on our journey to Dar es Salaam so that the next afternoon I could catch my flight to Nairobi, Kenya.
About 1:30 a.m., the front right tire, wheel and hub fell off the car. We were travelling about 60 miles an hour, swerving back and forth on this two-lane road and finally came to a screeching halt on the edge of the road. My heart was pounding with adrenaline and fear as I looked up and read a road sign revealing that we still had 149 kilometers until we reached our destination. We had no phone service, no Internet service and there was very little traffic.
Fear began to speak and have its way in my thinking, reminding me “I am an American white man stranded on a highway somewhere in the middle of nowhere with two Tanzanian friends.” This is a dangerous situation in the world we live in today, so I began to think about survival and looked around for something I could use to defend myself should we be attacked. As fear spoke, it drowned out the sound of peace that Jesus had already placed within me.
As I stood by the broken car with my African brothers, we began to share and discuss how God would get us out of this dilemma. I looked up to the stars in the sky and began to worship the Lord and peace once again enveloped my heart and mind. I threw the stick I had found as a means of defense and made my way over to the broken car as I told my friends I was going to get some sleep. Soon help arrived as a large semi truck picked us up and we made our way back in time for my flight.
Jesus said, “I give you My peace” so you don’t have to pray for peace - peace is already in you who believe! As a child of God, peace belongs to you. Peace defined means absence of confusion! Let’s not be confused by fear and forget who we are and who our God is! Let’s not forget how much our Father loves us and that His Son Jesus paid the full price - we have a covenant of grace!
Jesus said, “I give you My peace.” Peace also means health, welfare, prosperity and every kind of good! Yes, there are a lot of rumors today and a lot of bad reports coming in. There is a lot of evil in this world, but there is also a lot of good! The Apostle Paul encourages us in
Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Good will overcome evil; light always overcomes the darkness. Believe in the good news of Jesus Christ. He said to us “Peace I leave with you” which also means to go forward. It means all the blessings which accompany and flow from our reconciliation with God!
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (KJV)
Yes, there are rumors waiting for us yet this year and they are sent for one purpose and that is to get us to lose heart or to become fearful. There may be rumors coming, but there are also blessings!
There may be a rumor next week, but there is also a blessing next week. Jesus said, “I am leaving you My peace;” I am leaving all the blessings that come when you are reconciled with God so let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid!
The literal text in the Greek says it like this: don’t be afraid of anything. Jesus your redeemer is speaking to your heart: “peace I leave with you so don’t be afraid of anything.” Jesus said “I have given you My absence of confusion, My health, My wealth, My good things, My present blessings and My future blessings. I have given them to you, so don’t be afraid of anything.”
The abundant grace of God gives us the reality of “Peace In Perilous Times!”