A Devotional Thought by Jim DesRosiers
Lately, more than ever, it seems so easy for me to be caught up with the problems, turmoil, and distractions of this world. At every turn there seems to be something new that needs to be dealt with. The barrage seems endless. And with all of it, even though I know that my eyes should be focused on our Lord and that I should think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and excellent or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8), I still find myself being distracted and my focus drawn into the troubles of this world.
Even as my focus is being drawn away, a voice in me reminds me of what I know of the enemy, Satan. “He is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44) who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8), and that he will continually attempt to keep our hearts and minds focused anywhere and everywhere but on our Lord and Savior, and that we are told to “resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9).
It is in these times that I find I must lean harder into Christ, look higher, draw closer, let the Holy Spirit come upon me in truth to counsel me, comfort me, calm my mind and bring me through the darkness, for I have no power to overcome Satan on my own.
It's at these times I often find myself going to Scripture for comfort, reassurance and peace. I find that going into the Word refocuses me and my priorities and that scriptures previously "hidden" in my heart come back to me and remind me of the truth. As I read scripture, meditate on it, and pray, I am reminded of God's love, and that the Lord always seeks to be an encourager and does not want me to yield to discouragement or Satan's lies.
Of course, life is often hard, with difficult struggles, and at times the tasks to be done seem overwhelming. It seems as if our own hands fail us, our plans go awry, we seem to be met with opposition and doubt, and question if we can ever get through the things we have to do. But when we focus on the Lord, we find encouragement. When we read scripture, we see the light in our days and the darkness fades. We read and come to understand God's love for us, that he is faithful, and if we too are faithful to obey and cast our burdens upon Christ, he will bear them.
One scripture that has come to me often over the past months is John 14:27, as told by Jesus to his disciples at the Last Supper: “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.”
This powerful gift, His peace, is given to his disciples, bequeathed to them and to us as believers. Peace with God, peace within ourselves, in our hearts and in our minds. The peace of knowing we are children of God and are saved.
This peace, which is from Christ, is like no peace we can find in the world. It's no temporary peace, no peace that can be swept away by the next moment’s occurrence. It is a supernatural peace. A peace that guards you. A gift that enriches the soul. Peace when you rest in Christ surpasses all understanding, and will never fail us.
When we claim the promise of His peace, we have power through the Holy Spirit to face this world with all of its troubles and are comforted as we rest in the arms of Christ, confident of our future.
I close with this last scripture from Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Jim DesRosiers is Chair of the PGCC Leadership Team.