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Daily Reading: 24th July 2015

John 14.27 cont.

27 I leave peace with you, My peace I give to you; I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not be agitated in your heart, neither be fearful.

A word that seems to have crept into our vocabulary over the last few years is the word ‘stress’. We hear a lot about people getting stressed in various circumstances of life. A whole industry seems to have emerged to counsel people on how to deal with stress.

Perhaps it is that the further people get away from God the more life is going to become stressful. When we do not allow God into our life, or certain areas of our life, we are opening the door to a vast range of stresses that we will find increasingly difficult to deal with.

Jesus knew what was about to happen to Him, as His death on cross was only a matter of hours away. He knew that He was going to have to face His death on His own, bereft of the presence of His Father.

John had already said that Jesus was troubled (agitated) in His spirit:

Saying these things Jesus was troubled in His spirit and testified and said: “In all sincerity I tell you that one of you will betray Me” – John 13.21. This was after He had informed His disciples that one of them was going to betray Him.

He knew what it was to be agitated, to be stressed. Therefore, when He told His disciples not to be agitated, or stressed, He was doing so from His own experience

He had already told them that they should not be troubled in their hearts, and He had given then the remedy for stress:

“Do not allow your heart to be agitated; you believe in God, also believe in Me” – John 14.1.

The words of Jesus are just as applicable to us. We all face difficult situations of various kinds, situations of danger, or bereavement, relationship difficulties, peer pressure, confrontation, persecution, and so on.

The words of Jesus to us all are that we should not get agitated, or troubled. We avoid this by trusting in Him, believing that His plans for us are to bless us:

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” – Jeremiah 29.11 (NLT).

We may not enjoy whatever difficulties we face, but we can have confidence that His plans for us are good ones.

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