BY MARK O’FARRELL: Uncertainties, Unknowns, and the Unwanted have saturated our present environment.  Challenges and Concerns arrive daily.  And as believers, we know 2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a Spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind. But anxiousness and anxiety appear quickly on the surface as we hear the next status report of COVID-19.  And then … the other news comes in to crowd our awareness such as issues with law enforcement, closures of churches, businesses, and restaurants again, along with concerns of bringing back students physically to the classroom.  What are we to do?  How are we to feel?

John 20:19-22 captures the moment in the evening of that first week after the resurrection: “…the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because of their fear of the Jews. Then Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you!’”… “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent me, I also send you.’ After saying this, He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” The treasure of Peace is mentioned to them twice.  The secret of ‘receiving Peace and having Peace’ is presented.  It is laid out by the Giver of Peace!’

The doors were locked because of fear.  Have you experienced some ‘type of lockdown’ since March 2020?  I believe you have.  Now it is time ‘to fess up!’ What fear has kept you in a lockdown? Is it physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, or psychological? The disciples possessed the fear of the Jews.  They feared retaliation.  What is your fear or fears?  It is time be honest, ‘Fess Up,’ and fill in the blank.  “I have fear because of ___________.  The Bible uses the word ‘Jews.’  You can select and list your fear or fears.  Write them in the blank.

Then what happened? Jesus Came!  His Presence will change the story, the situation, and the event. He says twice:  Peace to you!  The two secrets of Peace are:

  1. His Presence: ’Jesus Came!’
  2. His Promise: ‘Peace be to you, for you, in you, and around you!’

The question naturally appears:  How can I have the ‘Peace’ Jesus talks about!  How can I make it mine? The question is answered!  The Resourcer, the Provider, and the Giver of Peace is made known. Peace is not something you work up, something you buy, or something you can earn or learn.  It is Given!  It is a Gift! 

Who Gives This Gift?  It is all Grace!  The Giver is the Holy Spirit!  Romans 8:26-27 speaks of the following: “…but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.  And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” 

There it is:  the Giver of Peace who uses the Presence and Promise of Jesus! That revelation is for the enjoyment and glorification of the Father.  Jesus said: “Receive the Holy Spirit!”  There it is! It is simply time to ‘fess up’ and ‘fill in the blank.’  Take time to ‘fill in’ your blank with a list of fears.  And then:  Ask Jesus to come and stand in your presence as He did for His disciples.  Feelings will change and courage will appear!  You can count on it!

Do you feel locked up with fears?  It is time to be set Free!  Get to Jesus!

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