Daily Devotional 5-8-19

Peace to You

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19
The hopes of the disciples have been dashed.  Uncertainty and fear have taken the better part of them.  Their miracle-working teacher has been tortured and crucified. What would they do?  Will his promise to resurrect from the dead become a reality?  How would the religious leaders handle them, knowing how they handled their master?   I believe these, and many other questions were running through their minds.  For fear of the Jews, the disciples have locked themselves up in “safety.”  They put themselves behind “bars” because of fear.  No one locked them in. They did!  Doubt and ambiguity have clouded the imagination of the disciples.   They needed encouragement, comfort and a sense of their future.
However, amid their fears, Jesus showed up among them.  Jesus’ first statement is so crucial.  He said, “Peace be with you”.   He knew what the disciples needed behind the closed doors.  For the second time, Jesus blessed them with his peace and showed them his scarred hand and feet.  Upon seeing the evidence, the disciples were overjoyed.  The atmosphere had shifted for them.  The condition and spirit in the room changed drastically.  They were in fear, but when Jesus stepped in peace took over.   Sadness had clothed them, but joy and praise broke in on them upon the arrival of Jesus.
Jesus is the game changer!
Shakespeare once said, “Cowards die many times before their death.”  Fear has the ability to steal our potential through discouragement, despair, and hopelessness.   Fear could turn on your negative lens and that negativity will color everything you see and experience in the world.  Fear will make you shut yourself down.  It will drain your energy and leave you depressed and anxious.  Fear is a spirit and a weapon of the enemy.
Jesus knew his disciples would be in the world full of hater and persecutors.  However, he did take them out of that context.  Instead, he blessed them with peace, because, peace is not the absence of trouble. Rather, it is the sense of calmness and serenity in the face of adversity.
Jesus will not wait for you to come out of a bad situation. No. Instead, he joins you in your trouble or challenge and empowers you to come out victoriously.  No matter what your situation may be, hear the words of Jesus, “Peace be with you.”
PRAYER: Lord, breathe your peace on me that I may see as you see, think as you would think, and interact as you would interact.