Day 2 – The Source of Peace and Purpose
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
– John 20:21
The beginning of a new year is the time when people grasp for fresh peace and purpose. Hope springs up again in human hearts that things can change, that we as individuals can change, that our world can change. We hope for happiness in lifestyle modifications, physical fitness, dietary adjustments, new daily rhythms, more sleep, more work, and the list goes on. But the Bible says, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9), and “all is vanity and a striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14). All self-made human efforts for peace and purpose are futile. They come up empty. But not so with Jesus Christ. He alone can give real and lasting peace and purpose.
Even as Christians we can lack this promised peace and purpose when we do not abide in Christ. These 21 days of prayer and fasting provide the perfect opportunity to examine our lives and get rid of anything that is diminishing our lives and our most prized possession – our relationship with Jesus. Have I been tolerating sin? Am I making time for God, His word and prayer each morning and evening? How do I need the help of the Holy Spirit in my life? And if you’re not a Christian, don’t believe in the false hopes of a new year. Turn wholeheartedly to Jesus, and you can find what you’ve always been seeking.
Jesus cares about the worries of our heart. He wants us to have an abiding calm. Jesus first spoke these words of peace to His closest followers when they were most bewildered and afraid – after His crucifixion but before they understood His resurrection. They had left everything to follow a crucified Messiah. Now what? Would they and their families recover? Jesus calms their anxious hearts, and ours. Don’t worry, don’t fear, “peace be with you,” He says. Peace is an invaluable commodity. You can’t pay for it. You can’t work for it. You can only receive it by trusting Jesus. Do you have it? If not, seek Jesus for it until it’s yours. He has the authority and compassion to grant it to you.
But Jesus seeks more than serene disciples. He also wants world-changers. His words of peace are followed by words of global and historic purpose, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son. Now, God so loves the world that He sends all of His followers. None of us can die for the sins of the world, but we can show and tell others about the One who did. We will never be perfect like Jesus. But the Holy Spirit is in us and will give us the strength, wisdom, love, and perseverance we need to live wholly for Him. We can do all things through Christ. Do you hear the voice of Jesus beckoning you to live for His purposes? Have you counted the cost? Will you go for Him?
As you fast and pray today, ask the Father for the grace to have complete peace and the power to fulfill His purposes in your life. If each one of us walks in Jesus, then His peace and purpose will be ours, and then our families, communities, and nation will experience real change in ways that only Jesus can bring.
Lord Jesus, I trust You that I can have peace and live with purpose because of You. Empower me now by Your Spirit just like You did for the first disciples. I confess that I am afraid and anxious just like they were. But You helped them to live with peace and purpose, and I believe that You will do the same for me. Meet me today and work mightily through my humble attempt to pray and fast. In Your name I pray, amen.
Chuck Hetzler, Ph.D.
Director, Christian Union Day and Night
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