“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27

It is the worst day of your life. Everything, everything, you’ve worked for appears to be gone. Everything you believed in appears to be shattered. Everything you’ve invested in appears to have vanished. The person closest to you in the world has been killed and you have few friends and they are in the same boat with you.

You and your friends left everything a little over three years ago to follow this man called Jesus. Even though He had never received any formal education He taught the Scriptures with authority and knew more about life than the scholars twice His age.

He gave of Himself regularly but asked His followers to do the same. He had high expectations, yet was also so full of grace when you failed Him. He took every failure as an opportunity to teach you how to grow. And, lately, it seemed you were “getting it” more often. You were seeing the point before He had to point it out.

Now this. One of your group has betrayed Christ. The authorities came and arrested Him and took Him before the religious and civil authorities (both pretended a “trial” for Him) and then yesterday they crucified Him. Crucified Him.

Not only was He not guilty of the trumped up charges brought against Him in the trial – He was innocent. He had never once in all His life sinned, and now He was dead. You’d watched it. Almost as if a dream, you watched as they nailed His beaten, naked body to the cross and then lifted Him up in mockery to die. And die He did.

Today you feel as empty inside as one of these abandoned shells on the shore. There is talk of them coming for you and your friends next. It doesn’t even matter to you now. What else is there to live for?

These thoughts reflect what any one of the disciples may have been thinking after Jesus’ death on the cross. Despair to the “nth” degree.

But, aren’t you glad we know the rest of the story? Just a couple days later Jesus would rise from the tomb and defeat the final foe – death.

Some of you are facing challenging, difficult and even desperate days right now, but know that Christ has overcome whatever is causing you pain. Just as He promised His disciples in the verse above, He will give you peace, if you will trust Him with your pain.

My prayer for you this week is that you enjoy the victory which comes from knowing that peace and you will experience the joy and freedom found only in a personal relationship with Christ.

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