Lifelines:

Death hovered. A small band of men listened to the one who would soon die an unspeakably miserable death. In plans shrouded in darkness, the groundwork was being laid. The conspiracy was nearly complete. Indescribable brutality was hours away. Whips, thorns, hammers and nails were waiting as Jesus shared words that hardly fit the circumstances.

As He prepared to take on the sins of the world, the Lord spoke of peace. The immediate future could not have been any more turbulent. There would be a disruption in the Godhead unlike any in history. The world would shake. The elements would experience the aftershocks of unbridled evil. Yet, in the face of it all, He offered comforting conversation. He obviously knows something we do not.

What we do know is that He wants His disciples to be at peace within. There is no need to allow external turmoil to disrupt our internal serenity. “Do not let your heart be troubled (John 14:1).” Easy for you to say, but how? Faith. That is the key that unlocks the inner capacity for tranquility. “Believe in God, Believe also in Me.” Remember the one who said it.

Our vision is hazy. Through blurry eyes we look for a worldly concept of peace and miss His. It is not like that (John 14:27). There is a counterfeit that is offered in this realm, but it lacks the substance that His has. He is the source of it, and it is incomprehensible (Philippians 4:7). It will come to us if we will follow His directions (Try Philippians 4:4-9).

We live in troubled times. Wars persist. There is a perpetual stream of depressing news from floods to earthquakes and tornadoes to oil spills. A mother kills her children and a radical blows himself up. If those headlines shock us then we have not been paying attention. “In the world you have tribulation (John 16:33).” He called it 2000 years ago, and we are shocked when it occurs.

Yet, we have never faced what He did. The weight of the world was waiting for His shoulders, and He spoke of peace. Has there ever been a more unpeaceful time? Good and evil were on a collision course ready to intersect at His heart, and He talked of tranquility. Jesus was fully aware that miserable times were ahead for His disciples, but He was conscious of something else, too. For every Friday there is a Sunday. The mourning is temporary. He knew, and we can, too: Beyond every cross there is an empty tomb. And that is permanent.

Call to Praise Scripture: Galatians 5:13-14

His word on it: Galatians 5:6

Sermon: “Grasping Greatness”