Helping people find peace through sharing God's Word with them
At times, it’s easy to think that nobody outside of church will be interested in talking about faith in Jesus, let alone reading bits of the Bible with us.
But when we stop to think about it, is that really the case?
Any glance at a news feed and we are overwhelmed with the reality of the brokenness of this world.
There is instability, unrest and war in many places, Ukraine has obviously been close to home for many of us in the West and therefore particularly shocking and heart-breaking.
This is not to mention climate change and the cost of living going up, concerning everyone in one way or another.
It’s a common human experience to be kept awake at night with worry and stress about all sorts of things, global as well as personal; responsibilities, difficult relationships, illness, grief, work or lack thereof.
People around us can be worn down by life, some are still feeling lasting effects of the pandemic and are longing for a break from the relentlessness of it all.
According to a recent UK survey called Talking Jesus, the most popular question non-Christians were asking was “Will everything be ok?”.
Peace seems to elude us.
Looking for peace
Openness to God and the gospel often comes when people's lives intersect with things they can’t cope with.
Their heart’s desire is for security, safety, harmony and hope that everything will be ok.
While struggling, the emptiness, weariness and dryness of our lives can raise questions about what it’s all about. What is our purpose for living? If there is a God, why is the world such a mess? How can I find a lasting sense of peace? Is real peace even possible?
Leading to peace
Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t exempt us from feeling stress and anxiety like the rest of humankind. But as Christians we do have an answer for why there is a lack of peace and where, or rather, who, to go to for ultimate peace and meaning in life.
As a famous quote goes, “Evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”
The good news of Jesus, in the pages of the Bible, rooted in history, enables us to understand the big story we are in and where the universe is heading.
The greatest gift we can give people is to help them discover the reality of our existence – who God is, through Jesus, who we are, what Jesus has done to make forgiveness of our sins possible and to make the way for us to have ultimate peace with our Creator forever – if they will receive it.
In chapter 14 of John’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples:
“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.”
The world’s definition of peace is often the absence of issues or conflict. However, we are offering people the chance to open their hearts instead to receive something precious.
Jesus wants to give people His presence through the Holy Spirit.
How often are we comforted by the presence of a friend in tough times? When my own father passed away, it made such a difference when a dear friend didn’t go into the office so she could just be with me in my time of grief. How much more comfort and peace will the presence of God through the power of the gospel impart to those we care about who don’t yet have the answers to life? It is of course only trusting in the good news of Jesus that results in the peace that surpasses all understanding.
It may be a slow process, but as we patiently love people, being there for them, listening to their concerns and praying for them, the Lord can give people a hunger for meaning and an openness to learn about the Jesus who gives you, their friend, underlying peace and a different perspective on life.
When the resurrected Jesus appeared to the terrified disciples in a locked room in John chapter 20, Jesus chose to greet them with these words:
“Peace be with you.”
How relieved and overjoyed would they have been to hear those words?!
Jesus soon reiterated and followed that greeting with a commission in John 20 verse 27. He didn’t want the disciples to keep this peace to themselves but to share it with the world and it’s the same commission to us today. It comes with the blessing of His peace and ongoing presence, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
Leaning on our peace
So let us ask God to grow our compassion for the people around us who are lacking ultimate peace.
With our conviction and confidence that lasting peace can only be found through the gospel, our identity and future is secure as God’s forgiven children, whatever happens. God is with us and we know the end of the story.
Therefore, let us not give up in praying for and acting on opportunities to ask to show people just 18 sentences of one section of the Bible. Most people won’t know that it’s ultimately what they need so that’s why we come in. In God’s Word they will find big answers for life and meet the source of our peace for themselves, the One in whom we rest, the Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace. Will you show them?
Do you want to learn more about how to share your faith using the Word 121?
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