We can’t force others into peaceful co-existence with us…we can only control how we react and behave around angry people. You know the ones…people with huge chips on their shoulders…always thinking the world is out to get them. It takes a conscious decision of the will on our part not to take the bait when attacked. It takes lots of deep breaths and determination not to lower ourselves down to that level…and sometimes, it takes just walking away for a few minutes to regain our composure and pray. “Lord, help me look past the angry hostility and see rather the hurt, the fear, the frustration. Allow me Lord to see this person through Your eyes and how I may show Your love to them.” Amen
We find the disciples hunkered down, doors locked, fearing what might happen to them…when suddenly Jesus shows up! And during this short interaction these frightened men went from fainthearted to fearless. So what was it? It was the 3 “P”s. First it says that Jesus came and stood among them and showed them His hands and side. His presence was undisputable to them now…the Resurrection beyond doubt. Next was Jesus’s greeting, “Peace be with you!” This type of peace supersedes anything we can imagine…it is brought about by God’s infinite mercy, granting deliverance and freedom from all distresses. Finally, Jesus breathed on them and they received the power of the Holy Spirit. His presence, peace and power turned a rag-tag group of men into a force to be reckoned with.
The yearning we feel inside is a Jesus-shaped void. Although we try to fill it with lots of things…the spiritual thirst is still there. And it’s not until we have that “Coming to Jesus” moment, that the void can be filled. Matthew 5:5 tells us, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Quit trying to fill the hole inside you with junk, it’ll never work and only leave you more unhappy. Jesus is the only answer to finding peace in your life today.
Most of us have a hard time expressing our condolences to a friend that’s just lost a loved one. We stumble around, trying hard to say something that will bring comfort. But it’s only the Lord that can truly bring solace and peace during a time of anguish and mental pain. Probably one of the most uncaring things to say is, “I know how you feel.” No you don’t, and you never will. Grief and grieving is unique to everyone, and all of us will go through it differently. But with the Lord’s help, grief will be soothed… fears will be quieted… peace will still frantic thoughts…and over time, joy will return.
We are to live in harmony with all. Not with just those we like…not with those who only believe as we do. No, we are to live in peaceful co-existence with everyone. Jesus came preaching the Gospel of Peace, not that of elitism, isolation, or hatred. It’s a tough road though to love your neighbor as yourself…for many around us are unlovable. That’s why the second part of this verse is so important. We may not be able to change the unlovable around us, but we can change ourselves and how we interact with them. Sanctification or holiness is the ongoing process of becoming more like Christ Jesus everyday…of looking at all people – even the unlovable- through His eyes.
Make no mistake about it…as a Believer, the deep sense of well-being you feel today has been brought about by a loving and merciful Heavenly Father. And the next time before you pat yourself on the back for the great achievement you’ve just done…remember, that it’s only through Him that you’ve realized this success.