Sometimes I get hijacked by fear. Do you?
This happens more often than I’d like to admit, but it’s true – I get hijacked by fear. Can you relate? Sometimes I find myself paralyzed from moving forward, because I’m frankly just scared of what lays ahead or is happening around me.
I also have an all too incessant need to be liked
I get hijacked by my all too incessant need to be well thought off by everyone. This puts my identity in dangerous places.
I get wrapped up in image management and taking my sense of well being from what I think people think of me. After spending any time on social media, I can become trapped by comparison and competition, and I lose peace.
It isn’t the “sitting around doing nothing” boredom that hijacks me. There is a much more insidious form of boredom that regularly threatens to destroy my well being.
I’m talking about the boredom that comes from running furiously on a hamster wheel; the constant bombardment of information and entertainment that can numb my mind such that my purpose and vision get drowned out.
But Jesus helps me.
He helps me overcome fear.
He helps me be at peace.
He helps me live life on purpose.
I have been reflecting on Luke 24:36ff recently. Pick up the story at this passage and you’ll find Jesus’ disciples huddled together in fear. Their leader and teacher and friend has been crucified. The world is against them. They are filled with shame at their recent cowardice and betrayal of the one that meant so much to them. They have been wondering what will be next for them.
“Peace to you!”
Suddenly Jesus is with them proclaiming peace. This changes everything.
When I am filled with fear, Jesus’ presence brings comforting peace
Jesus stands among His friends and followers and says, “Look at me! Look at my wounds and know that I understand your fear. I have faced rejection and pain at the highest level, yet I have overcome.”
The God we serve empathizes with our fear, and rather than scolding us says, “Peace, I am with you.”
When I am tempted to find my identity in dangerous places, Jesus reminds me that He has purchased my peace with God
Jesus stands among His friends and followers and says, “Look at me! Look at my wounds and know that I have bought you peace.”
The God we serve has secured our identity through the cross and we no longer need to frantically seek approval anywhere else. We are loved by God, saved by His sacrifice. Our eternal destiny is secure. Jesus says, “Peace, I have saved you.”
When I am bored and restless, Jesus reminds me that He has given me a mission
Jesus stands among His friends and followers and says “Look at me! Look at my wounds and know that I have given you a mission so much bigger than yourselves.”
The God we serve infuses our lives with purpose as He calls us to be His agents of peace in a broken world. He calls us out of the frantic boredom and gives us a mission that for each of us is worth our whole life: “Peace, through you, to all nations!”
“Peace to you!”
So whether you find yourself threatened by fear, a misplaced identity, or frantic boredom, know that Jesus is near to you proclaiming his peace. I pray that you would experience and know this peace in fresh ways today!