What Should Be The Outlook Of A Believer?
Whether living in good or bad times, we are all constantly faced with external situations that can affect the condition of our hearts. We have relationships with a spouse or parents or our children that can be stressful. We have jobs and bills and money issues to figure out. So what should be the outlook of a believer? How should we handle stressful situations and bad news, be it personal or general?The following verse paints a vivid picture of God’s desire for us, even during stressful times. Before Jesus went to the cross, He made an amazing proclamation. In John 14:27, He said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Even reading that as I type it, it’s almost as astonishing as it is comforting. It’s even more remarkable when you realize that Jesus was saying this to the disciples right before He was going to be crucified! These men were about to go through the most challenging and most stressful moments of their lives, and Jesus essentially said, “Hey, here’s my peace. You don’t ever have to freak out now”. In fact, he said, “LET NOT your heart be troubled,” meaning they had a large part to play. Inferring that WE have a part to play as well.
Not As the World Gives
Jesus also makes a sort of peculiar statement in this verse. He said, “not as the world gives do I give to you.” Jesus Himself acknowledged that there is a peace we can get from the world. But it is entirely dependent on all of our externals being just right. Your job or business is great, your body feels great, everyone is friendly to you and loves you. That is the only peace the world can give, and it is entirely circumstantial. But Jesus said His peace is not like that. It is unaffected by circumstance. It can be accessed by simple faith in these words:
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
If we know the Word is true and that He cannot lie, then we have to conclude that believers do, in fact, possess His peace. So the big question is, where the heck is it? If we have the peace of Jesus, why don’t we always feel it? Could it be that we have to partake of this peace by faith, just like everything else we receive from God? We know from the biblical account that the disciples did a pretty poor job over the next few days of not letting their hearts be troubled. Instead of remembering Jesus’ words about resurrecting on the third day, they became filled with fear. They thought that Jesus was dead forever and that His ministry and their lives were ruined. But they were wrong. Not because they didn’t have plenty of evidence to be fearful. But because they were looking at the wrong evidence.
We Have a Choice To Make
When we elevate our circumstances above what God has said in His Word, we are looking at the wrong evidence as well. The disciples could have remembered the words of Jesus and been
rejoicing with anticipation over His resurrection. Likewise, we have to remember what God has spoken over our lives. He has proclaimed the victory of Christ on our behalf in His Word. Will we let that be true, or circumstances that appear contrary.
We have a choice to make. Regardless of our situation, we have more than one option. I hope this encourages you. I hope you know that you have His peace now, irrespective of your situation and of how you feel. We need to humble ourselves and accept that His Word is more trustworthy than our experience. As we choose to not let our hearts be troubled or afraid, His supernatural peace
will take over. It will provide comfort, and it will give us wisdom in whatever situation we find ourselves in.
Written By: Travis McDaniel