June 3, 2020

PEACE

update

Written by Genee Francis

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV

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PEACE, LORD

(Jefferson Bennett)

 

Peace, Lord, grant us your peace, Lord.

Not as the world gives,

But sure as your Son lives,

So may we have his peace with us.

 

The peace of your Word, God,

We’ve read and we’ve heard, God.

So may we now know deep down in our bones your voice alone

 

Not as the world gives,

But sure as your Son lives,

So may we have his peace with us.

 

The peace of your Word, God,

We’ve read and we’ve heard, God.

So Spirit apply the peace of Christ to each of our lives

 

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Jefferson Bennett (2019) and his beautiful bride Andrea presented this original song of peace during the WinShape Homes retreat in September of 2019.  The retreat setting was beautiful, peaceful, and served as a time of great reflection. Who would have guessed that 6 months following that time of rest, we would be experiencing a worldwide pandemic? The storm of COVID-19 came pouring in across the globe like a quick flood.  Suddenly, our world is interrupted and “business as usual” is a thing of the past.

Many are now living with trauma resulting from this change to their way of life.  Trauma is the emotional response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that has the ability to impede on one’s ability to cope.  Trauma can cause feelings of helplessness or diminish one’s sense of self.  Trauma can also effect emotional well-being or restrict one’s ability to feel a full range of emotions.  Most would agree that the Coronavirus Pandemic qualifies as a disturbing event that has resulted in varying degrees of trauma for many individuals.  Rich and poor, young and old, democrat and republican, black and white are all experiencing the same disturbing event.  People of all walks of life are struggling with grief, fear, and anxiety stemming from social isolation, economic pressure, and alarming medical and death statistics.

Peace of Mind can seem unattainable at a time where sickness is commonplace, job security is compromised, and the moral fabric of our society is falling apart.  The good news, however, is that Jesus has promised that all believers can experience true peace.  John 14:27 promises “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  The world gives peace with home security systems, retirement accounts, health insurance, and law enforcement.  The peace that the world gives is circumstantially based.  The Lord wants to give us peace that makes us fearless and allows us to stand in confidence amid trouble.  We can be assured that in times of tribulation, the Lord will extend to His children the same peace that exists between God the Father and God the Son.

May we be reminded of the following as we look to God as our Prince of Peace:

  1. Peace is a gift from God that comes through salvation. Once we have accepted Christ, we do not have to pursue peace.  We can simply access peace by finding rest in the Prince of Prince. (Matthew 11:25-30)
  2. Spend Time meditating on the promises of God found in the Bible. Faith in these promises promote confidence and strength that will help us to endure in adverse times. (Joshua 1:8)
  3. It is up to you to protect your peace. Do this by controlling your input.  Take in positive music, uplifting programming, enriching fellowship, healthy foods, fresh air.  Minimize any triggering people, events, literature, news outlets, etc. (Philippians 4:6-7)
  4. Trauma is solidified by the thoughts and labels that you attach to the disturbing event. Focus your attention of the gifts of the day- highlighting all that you are grateful for.  (Philippians 4:8)

During this season of great uncertainty and loss of comfortable routines, the simple, yet powerful words of this beautiful song keep playing in my mind. I find myself singing the chorus repeatedly.  I’ve sang it so much that my two sons now join in and together, we create a beautiful harmonious cry to the Lord. I trust God and His word found in John 16:33… “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”  Rather than succumbing to feelings of fear, anxiety, worry, or defeat, I allow the lyrics of “Peace, Lord” to flow… keeping my heart open… intentionally accessing this precious gift of peace.

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PRAYER:  Thank you, Lord that You will keep me in perfect peace as my mind stays focused on You. Help me to trust in You. Teach me Your promises, that I may cling to them in times of need. Let my mind meditate on the truth of Your Word, rather than all that I take in from friends, social media, or news outlets. I don’t have to let my heart be troubled. When anxiety or fear begins to rise, I can cast those feelings down, knowing that Your perfect peace prevails. Fill me afresh today with that peace.  Let Your peace within me promote peace to my spouse, my children, and my home. May that same peace bring unity to our country and healing for the entire world.  In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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