Choose Peace

January 2015: A Word From Dr. Stanley

Have you ever been at sea during a storm? I have, and I don’t care to ever experience it again. As the winds raged, the ship was tossed around like a toy. The rain came down in sheets while flashes of lightning and peals of thunder filled the sky. However, just 100 feet below the surface, where the storm held no sway, all was absolutely calm and quiet.

That’s what Christ’s peace is like. It’s not an absence of conflict or trouble but a deep calmness in the midst of life’s circumstances. Shortly before Jesus’ death, He assured His disciples, saying, “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). He wasn’t saying all their circumstances would be tranquil and serene. On the contrary, they were about to experience tremendous trials, but Christ’s peace would strengthen and sustain them through it all.

Jesus offers us this same peace; however, we must choose it. We can either follow His command not to let our hearts be troubled, or we can continue in our anxiety and fear. Everyone experiences inner doubts, worry, and turmoil because of distressing situations, yet as believers, we don’t have to hang on to these feelings. Instead, we can choose to accept Christ’s offer.

If we are to experience life this way, there’s just one path: a personal relationship with the Lord. The more we trust and obey Him, the greater our peace will become. In John 14:1, after telling His disciples not to be troubled, Jesus said, “Believe in God, believe also in Me.” If we have faith that He loves us unconditionally, has control of every situation, and will work it out for our good, we'll have peace that surpasses all human understanding.

Can you lie down and sleep at night with a calm mind and heart? Do you wake in the morning free of anxiety? Do you have quiet confidence in the Lord no matter what difficulties or pain you experience? If your answer was “no” to any of these questions, I pray you will surrender every fear and anxiety into God’s hands today and let Him guard your heart with His peace.

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27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

1 Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.

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