By Melissa McLaughlin

When my kids were young, some of our beloved family pets were hamsters. Our first hamster was affectionately named Hammy. Hammy was a soft, brown and white, handful of cuddly love. At night, Hammy scampered through the trails and tunnels of his plastic hamster cage, like an energetic child unleashed at Chuck E. Cheese! When he wearied himself exploring the nooks and crannies of his little home, he spent the last of his tiny strength running on his hamster wheel. Round and round it whirled, a rhythmic sprint to nowhere. Long into the night, we heard him run, using himself up, in a circular marathon. When Hammy finally wore himself out, he snuggled up in a pile of sawdust and eventually drifted off to sleep.

Sometimes our worries take us in twists, turns and tunnels that lead nowhere. Much like a hamster, we find ourselves spinning on a hamster wheel of worries that accomplish nothing but the wearying of our souls.

How can we rest ourselves instead of launching into this circle of mental anxiety and stress?

How can we rest in Jesus, our Savior?

How can we find the peace of Christ?

May we meditate deeply upon the words that Jesus gave us. His messages of peace.

Here are 3 messages of peace from Jesus.

Jesus’ First Message of Peace

1.“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” ~John 14:1-3

Jesus begins this passage with a word of encouragement. Don’t be anxious. Let your thoughts of God become bigger than your anxiety. Let your thoughts of Jesus become bigger than your anxiety. Remember, God made you. God loves you. God sees you. Remember Jesus came to this earth, to lay down His life for our sins, so that we would be forever at peace with our holy God. He came to win a peace for us, an eternal peace, that we could never win for ourselves. The bonus? Jesus has gone on ahead to heaven to prepare a place for everyone who believes in Him and places their faith and trust in Him.

Struggling to believe? Ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you. If you ask with a sincere heart, Jesus will show you that He is the truth and His Word, the Bible, is truth. Jesus is the solid rock beneath our feet. We can build our lives on Him. Everything else is shifting sand.

Jesus’ Second Message of Peace

2. “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

In these verses, Jesus emphasizes His peace. Jesus leaves us His peace. Jesus gives us His peace. Not the world’s peace, which is only based on passing circumstances. Rather, believers in Jesus have God’s peace, which passes all understanding and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. How? Even if the worst of life happens, which is death, we know that the God who paints the serene sunsets, the God who sets the rhythm of the soothing ocean waves, the God who sends the sunshine after the storm, is the same God who will meet us with open arms when we take our final breath. Jesus won for us an eternity of peace with God, which will be sweeter and more beautiful than the mere shadows of glory we can glimpse only briefly here. Because of Jesus, we have nothing to fear in life or in death. We have His peace.

Jesus’ Third Message of Peace

3.“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33

Jesus made clear his coming death, resurrection and future reign. He told us what would come, so that we would have peace, knowing that this world will offer challenges, troubles and tribulations. Yet, we can have courage in the face of the worst that life dishes out, because Jesus overcame the worst of life when he died on the cross and then rose up from the grave! Jesus defeated sin! Jesus defeated hell! Jesus defeated death! Jesus is victorious over this life! And because He lives, we can live victoriously now and forever! His blessings overflow even more, for Jesus ascended into heaven and sent His Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of all who believe! Breathe deeply. Breathe slowly. Breathe, for the heavenly breath of Jesus fills your lungs. Breathe.

May your heart rest deeply in the peace that Jesus has spoken.

May your heart rest deeply in the peace that Jesus won for you on the cross.

May your heart rest deeply in the peace that Jesus is preparing for you in heaven.

Let the One who calms the stormy seas, calm the storms in you and me.

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”  And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.  And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” ~Mark 4:35-41

Let your mind rest in Jesus.

Let your heart rest in Jesus.

Let your soul rest in Jesus.

Come what may in this world, we have a peace like no other! We have the peace of Christ.

Be still my soul, Jesus is with us.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. ~Psalm 46

Be still my soul, Jesus, our Savior has come. It is finished.

Additional Resources:

How Can I Experience the Peace of God? By Melissa McLaughlin

When Everything Falls Apart: 7 Strategies to Get You Through By Melissa McLaughlin

How Can I Get Rid of Bad Thoughts? By Melissa McLaughlin

3 Prayers of Hope by Melissa McLaughlin

Be Still My Soul – Hymn Performed by Selah

Jesus, I am Resting, Resting – Song by Steve Green

Peace on Earth! But What Kind of Peace Did Jesus Bring? By Melissa McLaughlin