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Entering 2017 Armed With PEACE

We’re just one day away from the end of 2016.  And is becoming increasingly obvious that just about everyone is ready to bid it farewell.  Coming out of the holiday season can be a difficult time for some, as they feel the loss of loved one’s broken relationships, and financial hardship more than any other time of year, depression and grasping for hope is prevalent.  There are those who have been hit with very large, and personal blows that are jarring and life changing.  While some will be dancing and celebrating as the year ends, there are others who will be sitting, with their face in their hands………crying their eyes out.  For many, it’s not so much that all of 2016 has been bad, it’s how it’s ending.

We try very hard not to get swept up into the idea that the stroke of the clock hand makes much difference.  But we are people governed by time.  Time is a precious commodity.  It cannot be purchased.  You cannot turn back the clock.  There is no such thing as a time machine.  TIME MATTERS.  So as we watch the clock continue, without a second spared, we do actually consider the end of 2016, and the beginning of 2017.  We are actually moved by the transition from one year to the other.  And even if the years before have been the worst, we allow the hope and optimism that we can somehow start fresh.  This hope is both beautiful, and scary.  It’s beautiful to hope for what is not.  It’s encouraging, and motivating to believe in something bigger than yourself.  But it’s scary if you are looking at damage, a mess that’s been created, a life that has drastically changed within minutes, starting over without someone who has always been there, or the results of bad decisions.  It is almost hopeless to hope against that.  But we do…….even if we've trained ourselves not to, we absolutely do.

Wednesday I drove down the road, and had an overwhelming feeling that something was wrong with someone that I know.  Their face came to me out of the blue.  The feeling would not leave.  I texted the person and said: “Praying for you…..”  They did not respond for a while.  After sometime, someone who is warm, friendly, and good with verbal communication responded: “Thanks.” It was flat, dry, and confirmation that something wasn’t right.  I texted them again and said: “Is everything okay?  I have such a burden for you today.”  Again, it took some time, but they responded that they would talk with me later. 

After talking to them later, it was confirmed that one of their worst fears had surfaced, and life as they knew it had immediately changed.  I could see hurt, pain, and numbness as I cried inside for them.  My heart was broken.  I wanted to make it better.  But I could not.  So I hugged them.  And as I felt led, I said this:

“I know that this is so bad.  IT’S BAD.  But this is a graduation.  You made it.  You endured something that cost you everything, and benefited everyone else.  It was a sacrifice made for others.  It killed your flesh so that others could live.  This is a graduation.  It’s a test passed.” As I continued praying for them this week, God further impressed on my heart to tell them:

“I HAVE ARMED YOU WITH MY PEACE.”

It was a word for them.  But it was a word for me.  And it’s a word for you. We do not always view peace as a weapon.  It’s often viewed as a fruit, a character quality, or a state of mind.  But it is absolutely a weapon.  Anything that conquers and enemy is a weapon.  And for the battle that many of us have to fight, peace will fight it for us.  It will teach us how to rest when we want to work.  It will teach us how to fold our arms when we want to ball up our fists.  It will help us be quiet when we want to speak.  Peace will kill anxiety, fear, apprehension, and doubt.  Peace goes before us to calm thoughts that are anti-hope.  Peace says: “I know that this is awful, but it will not kill you.”  Peace knows that the days to come hold options beyond the days that are, and have been.  We have a peace that is not attached to external things.  It is the result of the internal.  It comes from what resides within.  This type of peace is indestructible.  Let it fight for you.  It God’s weapon of choice for this season.

“My peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV

Happy New Year – Happy No Fear

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