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.
These words of Jesus in the Upper Room Discourse on the eve of his crucifixion ring forward to this day. No command is repeated in Scripture more often than the command simply to not be afraid. I think we can carry that thought over into whatever it is that might cause us fear. I mean fear that keeps us away from living in God’s will.
There are so many things in this life which can be occasions to cave into fear. And when that happens, it’s harder getting out then it was falling in.
What is needed is a new pattern of life over time, a new habit which shapes us gradually. Of course with the “three steps forward, two steps backward” reality we all struggle with.
Jesus’s words were specific to what the disciples were facing during that time. It was certainly a dark time, and naturally the alarm would be sounding for them.
Whatever we might face, Jesus’s peace is present for us as well. It’s up to us to receive that word in faith, and make the concerted, sustained effort not to let our hearts be troubled, or be afraid. Of course there is always confession and forgiveness when we lapse back into our old ways. But that should never be an excuse for us to fail to set our sights on something much better. What God has for each and everyone of us in and through Jesus.