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.
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This came at just the right time! I love these verses on peace. With the craziness of the world right now these verses need to be on billboards.
Oh, I wish these verses were on billboards! Such a brilliant idea, Michelle! It’s true, with all the chaos swirling around us, we need to anchor ourselves deep in God’s Word. His truth shines out above all. God bless you and keep you!
A very important message especially in today’s worry about the coronavirus.
You’re right, Melissa. We need to keep our faith and ourselves anchored in the peace of Christ, especially given the latest developments. May we keep our eyes fixed on Him. Blessings to you and your family!
Great piece for these difficult times. The news and the events of the world want to rob us of the peace found in Jesus. Thanks for the reminder.
All glory to God, who gives us all things… life and through Jesus, eternal life! It is true the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy us and our peace in Christ. May we put on the armor of God and stand strong! God bless and protect you, your family and your ministry.
A funny side note: When I was in high school, one of my first jobs was to be Chuck E. Cheese. Yup. I donned that giant Rat suit and did children’s parties in it… that didn’t bring me much peace. (ha ha)
Oh Lisa, you gave me a good laugh! Well, it had to be a fun job I would hope! When I was in high school, I was also the mascot for our school which was a blue and white eagle. God bless you and your family!
Thank you for this beautiful post today, Melissa. It is so timely for this world we live in, and so timely for me personally as I am praying over my infusion tomorrow. I just shared your verses with my daughter, and she was so blessed too. May we truly rest our hearts in the peace that Jesus brings to us. God bless you, Dear Friend!
Dear Bettie, I have been praying for you. And I asked my Wednesday prayer group to pray for you. May God bless you and wrap you in His peace. He is mighty to save. He is able sister! We prayed for a miraculous breakthrough for you.
Heavenly Father, we praise you, for you are God and you are good. Thank you for sending Jesus to pay the penalty that we could be reconciled to you and have a peace that holds our hearts fast. Tonight I call out to you for my sweet sister, Bettie. Bring forth a miracle of healing Lord God, for a display of your glory and power through Bettie’s life. Bring such a supernatural, Holy Spirit wholeness to her that it will defy all medical explanation. Guide the hands of the doctors and nurses. Give them insights beyond thir skill and compassion beyond their heart that Bettie will have the best possible treatment. Use her story to shine the light on Jesus. Let many see and know and praise your name. We love you, oh Lord. Help us sense your nearness. In Jesus’ name. Amen. The Lord bless you and keep you, dear Bettie. I’ll be praying. Love and hugs.
Oh thank you so much, Dear Melissa! Please pass along my gratitude for all of the prayers. God is so very gracious to allow us to join together in praying. May you be so blessed by His presence today also.
Dear Bettie, the Holy Spirit put youon my heart as soon as I woke up. Prayers continuing, dear sister! May your heart and mind overflow with His peace.
Thank you for listening to Holy Spirit’s nudging! I am so very grateful and blessed.
With the coronavirus pandemic arriving on our shores, this is certainly timely. We all need to be reminded of the peace that we have Jesus, who he is, what he does, what he has prepared for us. We are in good hands. We need not fear. His peace helps to get us through this latest challenge. Thank you for sharing your hamster story (I can relate to your hamster — LOL), and thank you for putting this together in such a winsome way, Melissa.
Melinda, you expressed it perfectly, “We are in good hands. We need not fear.” When we pause and consider Jesus, who He is, what He has done, what He has gone ahead to do preparing heaven for us, we can lay all our burdens at his nail-scarred feet and rest in His peace. Praying for any run-away hamster thoughts to take a nap in the sawdust tonight! Thank you for the gracious words of encouragement, dear sister! May God bless, protect and uphold you and your family.
Thank you Melissa for once again pointing us to the One who can give us real peace, Jesus! I love all those verses. So needed as the world goes a teensy bit crazy right now. We have hope as believers. He’s got us!
So true, Meghan, He’s got us! It reminds me of that simple song we sang as kids, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” Jesus has already taken care of everything. Past, present and future. May we relax in the calming peace of our Savior!
Now I’ve got that song in my head. 😂 He really does have us in His mighty hands.
Love this message, Melissa. I watched a message from a pastor today about how our world is freaking out with the coronavirus. He then challenged believers to spend 15-30 minutes reading through the fearful posts on social media and on news media channels. Then to take out our Bible and spend time reading verses about peace and rereading through Psalm 91 several times. To stop fueling our life with fear but with faith and peace from Jesus. I’m remembering to be still and know that He is God!
Wow, that is a good challenge. It’s true, the nonstop access we have to media and social media is not healthy and definitely not spiritually healthy. God’s Word gives us our real and lasting peace, for it will stand forever and it points us to our Savior again and again. He is God! May we be still and relax in His calming, ever-present Spirit. May God bless, protect and strengthen you and your family!
Scripture is very clear – we will face trials, tribulations and persecution. But how comforting it is to know that as we walk through adversity we are never alone. God is with us, providing and protecting, and offering his comfort and peace.
So true, Anne. I have dear friends who live in Haiti and face daily hardships beyond our imagining. She is frequently reminding me of these scriptures and I am truly grateful. She helps me anchor myself in God’s truth, God’s Word. Not my own wishful, fickle feelings.
Yes, God is with us. And He made the way for us into heaven through Jesus Christ. The greatest obstacle we have ever faced, hell, has already been settled. For those who receive Christ, everything else is a momentary trial. Thank you for your insights, Anne!
He is our refuge, so we take heart. Thanks for encouraging us in this time! God bless!
Amen! Christ alone is our strength, peace and hope in life and in death. May we live out our faith in Him like never before! Blessings to you and yours, Nancy!
Wonderful post…we do have God’s peace in these troubled times. More than ever, we must find rest in Him, the One who loves and knows us best.
Yes, yes, Linda! You said it perfectly. May we find rest in Him, the One who loves and knows us best. Everything else in this life and in this world is passing away. But after everything else has fallen, the love of Jesus stands. May we lean hard against our strong and mighty Savior. And rest.