There is no question that these are trying times that we live in. Hatred continues to rear its ugly head: there is strife in our homes, our communities, our country, and the world. And I hear so many of God’s children expressing great fear, and religious leaders talking about how we have to get the people in this world to behave better and change the actions and thinking of those that are constantly stirring up trouble.
However, I believe that this is a time when those that profess to call upon the name of the Lord need to pray for a deep and abiding trust in that name. Quite frankly, the scripture tells us that the world is not going to behave better (2Ti 3:13 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”). While it would be nice if we could change the hearts of evil men, we do not have that power. But as a believer in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, I can and should demonstrate that belief in the way that I live and the way that I react to these present times. Jesus told us in Joh 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Do you believe that Jesus left us His peace, and not only left it, but gave it to us? Then don’t add to the agitation. Acknowledge it, renounce it, but let that all be housed within the promises of God to His believing children through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost! Those that believed on Jesus were facing very trying times when Jesus spoke this promise to them. There was great evil, hatred, and persecution in the world. But Jesus said that we should not be troubled in heart or given over to fear. Why? Because He does not give as the world gives. He does not offer you strength today only to snatch it away tomorrow. He does not give you His peace if, when, or because . . . He simply gives you His peace. If we are not experiencing the peace of Jesus in our lives, it is not because it is not there. If I have an infection and the doctor prescribes me an antibiotic, then I have the means at hand to deal with that infection. The physician can hardly be to blame because I refused to fill the prescription.
My dear friends, I am not engaging in some sort of delusional optimism here. If we believe the promises of God are “Yea, and amen”, then we need to calm our hearts and banish our fears in the loving peace of our risen Savior! This is not a formula for making our troubles disappear, but rather this is the manner in which our Way has provided for us to deal with these present trying times and all the trying times yet to come. Grace be unto you, and peace through God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Elder Mike McGrady