Daily Devotional 3-17-19

Peace in the Storm 
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:17

John and Charles Wesley set out for America in 1735, enthused at the idea of preaching the Gospel to Native American people. During the voyage, a terrifying storm struck the ship. John was afraid. He prayed with the English passengers, one of whom brought him a baby to baptize in case they were all about to die. Shortly afterward he was with a group of German Moravians when a huge wave engulfed the ship and water poured down into the cabins. While the English passengers screamed in terror, the Moravians continued singing—men, women, and children seemingly untroubled. Later he asked one of the Moravians if they hadn’t been afraid. He replied that no one had been afraid.

Your faith may not be as strong as the group of the Germans, or you cannot even tell how you would have responded or reacted if you were on that voyage, but the reality is, we are in a storm right now. The responses of people in the public, news updates, empty isles at grocery stores, major sports events called off, canceled Sunday worship, increasing recorded cases of the virus are enough to throw you into fear and anxiety. 

This pandemic is real, but more real is the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus.

As part of His final messages and encouragement to His disciples, Jesus exhorted them not to be afraid. He knew of the challenges they would face after his ascension, and as they took the Gospel from one place to another. He was fully cognizant of the fact that many troubles would accompany the daily lives of the disciples; therefore, He encouraged them not to be afraid. And, I want to encourage you: don’t let anxiety and fear drive you. Christ has made His peace available to keep you composed and calm. The Prince of Peace lives in you. You can be unafraid. His peace is with you and I invite you to walk in it and live it out. Get in touch with other people. Inspire, encourage, and pray for one another. This will help you be at peace.

Practice peace in your family. Call an elderly person you know, encourage, and pray with them.  And, yes, practice all the needed precautions the authorities have shared. Christ will see us through this!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, protect our hearts and minds with your peace.  Shield our families, friends and loved ones from this darkness.  In Jesus’ name. Amen!