Last week we established our identity is in a large part from knowing whose we are. Once we are confident in the fact of whose we are, it will determine our life goals, course of action, and guide our daily decisions. Most likely you know or can guess who Jesus lived to please. But we will confirm assumptions through the Scriptures.
Jesus was dedicated to serving and pleasing God the Father. “For I seek not to please myself but him who sent me” (John 5:30, NIV). Another time he stated it this way, “…so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do as the Father commanded me” (John 14:30, CSB).
A Calm Heart
Jesus was set in who he was trying to please. Jesus didn’t please everyone but he lived life with peace in the midst of stressful events. We cannot please everyone but like Jesus, we can remain at peace, if we follow Jesus’ teaching and example. Do as Jesus did live to please one—God the Father. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matthew 6:33, CSB). “If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18, HCSB).
We often play the blame-game regarding stress. We want to blame it on others or point to unfortunate happenings in life. This is a pattern similar to the immediate reaction of Eve and Adam after sinning against God. Each cast blame for their own sin, their own actions. People routinely do the same with stress, they cast blame.
Life’s Unfair Stuff
We do not get to choose circumstances, but we do choose our response. Charles R. Swindoll expresses it this way, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” Jesus had the reaction principle mastered. His responses during stress were always appropriate, without sin, and honoring to God the Father.
The source of stress can come from allowing others or the enemy of our soul to put pressure on. Before we react or respond when under stress consider; are we going to respond from an abuser, critical perspective of blame, shame, and guilt? Or will we react from a God-centered perspective as someone aware, nonjudgmental, and who takes Christ-like action or inaction?
Jesus tells the disciples in some of his final teachings, before the cross, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful” (John 14:27, CSB). He goes on to say a bit later, “I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete” (John 15:11, CSB).
Dear reader, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, adopted into the family of God, then the Holy Spirit dwells in you. Through the Holy Spirit, the gifts of peace and joy are available for all to receive. Have you accepted your gifts? Do you use your gift of peace in stressful events?
Father God, thank You for welcoming, those who believe, into Your family through Jesus’ unwavering obedience to You. How blessed we are that You sent the Holy Spirit to be a comfort and guide.
You also offered us gifts of peace and joy. Lord teach us to use these gifts in our daily lives. Let us not be guilty of denying their power. Your gifts confer the power of the finished work of the cross. Our ultimate enemy was defeated so that we also can have peace when under stress. May our lives testify of Your greatness in the strong name of Jesus. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
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Quotation added by Manette Kay.