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Pastor’s Desk: Peace be with you

Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 4:50 pm

By Reverend Robert Hudson, Littleby Baptist Church

After Jesus died on the cross, was buried in the tomb, and rose from the dead many were still afraid. I suspect fear was not the only emotion they were dealing with that day. Anxiety over the unknown, loss of the one they thought was going to save them, doubt if Jesus was truly who He said He was, guilt for not standing with Jesus, and more. The emotions were strong, and they were hiding in a locked room.

“Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”” John 20:19b

Jesus appeared, He stood among them, He encouraged them. With His words “Peace be with you” Jesus was telling His disciples to not let their hearts be troubled, to not let fear get the best of them, to let God’s peace fill them. Jesus wants their anxiety, lostness, doubt, guilt, and fear to be replaced with peace that comes from Him. He did not want their hearts to be troubled over the events of the last few days or the uncertainty of the future.

Jesus’ message of “Peace be with you” is also meant for each of us. We may be struggling with anxiety over the unknown before us. We may be mourning the loss of a loved one, feeling guilty for what we did or did not say, be dealing with fear, or any of a number of emotions. We were not in that room on that night, but we can relate to how the disciples were feeling.

How do we get the peace that Jesus was talking about?

“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1

Through our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we have His peace. It is not something we have to figure out how to get on our own and it is not something we have to earn. Through our faith in our Lord and Savior we have His peace in us. It is not a peace that is based on a lack of struggles in our lives. It is a peace that can calm our souls despite the pain, loss, and conflict we are experiencing. It is a peace that comes from Jesus.   

The peace of Jesus allows us to stand by the grace of God regardless of what we are facing. It is a peace that is grounded in the hope that we have through our faith in Him. A peace that is given to us out of the Love our God has for us. The same love that drove the Son to climb on that cross to die for us.

If receiving this peace is based on Jesus, how do we get it? Paul tells us in Philippians chapter 4 that we are to present our prayers and petitions to God. Our part of this is to bring our requests, concerns, fears, and doubts to our God in prayer. These should be part of our daily conversations with God. I will be the first to admit that when I lay things before Christ in prayer His peace does not take over instantly. It would be nice if it did. In 1st Thessalonians we are told to “Pray continually.” The more we raise our concerns to our God, the more He works in us. As we pray about it and ask God to work in us and in the situation that is getting to us, the more the Peace that is grounded in Jesus will fill us.

If you are struggling with anxiety, lostness, doubt, guilt, or fear I want to encourage you to pray about it. Pray about it every day and let God work in you and whatever is causing those emotions. As you bring it to Him, His peace that is beyond any understanding will fill you. A peace that is based on who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Bring your prayers to Jesus and let His peace be with you.