Updated: Mar 16, 2020
By Drew Dalton, Pastor, Old Fort First Baptist Church
(And) Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Having said this, he showed them his hands and his side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:19-22
These words are spoken to the disciples in the upper room as they gathered following the resurrection. It was an unsure time for them. There Master had been crucified and now reports were coming in that now He was alive! What were they to do?! Who were they to believe!?
Today, though we are in a wholly different situation, we find ourselves asking the same questions. Fear is an ever present threat today. Many of us are struggling as it seems every day a new case of the virus is confirmed. Another event is cancelled or postponed for “precaution.” Some say it is the beginning of the end, others just media-driven hysteria. What are we to do?! Who are we to believe!?
In the midst of all these troubling developments, I want to assure you to “Fear not!” The reports are concerning; but there is a great God. He is greater than the government. Greater than the media. Greater than any virus known to man. And not only that, God offers us His peace in times of trouble and distress.
As we look across the landscape of fear and fear mongering, of hysteria and indifference; it is easy to become discouraged and even frantic in our own response. But amongst all these things looking to stir up our anxiety God offer us moments of respite. A meadow covered in spring flowers. A crisp white cloud against a bright blue sky. A mother bird tending to her hatchling.
It was this kind of peace that Jesus promised. He never promised a life without trouble, in fact He promised trouble. He doesn’t offer a life absent from suffering, He promises us that too. What He promises us is peace within the storm. An escape in Him from the hardships and trials that we face. He doesn’t promise tranquility, He promises serenity.
So in these uncertain times, I urge you, cling to the things that are certain. God knows you. He loves you. He is in control, and He offers you His peace.