Thursday, July 17, 2014

Research performed recently at Harvard School of Public Health displayed that exposure to news coverage of traumatic events can negatively affect our health. The study found that one of the biggest causes of stress is watching, reading, or hearing the news. In addition, repeated negative imagery can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (

So much of what our media outlets expose us to is negative. We hear about brutality, murders, economic woes, political scandals, flooding, droughts, tornadoes, shark attacks, etc. Very little of the news is uplifting.

On the night before His death, Christ told his disciples,
All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
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. (John 14:25-27, NIV)

The disciples weren't aware that their teacher was about to die, yet Jesus knew, and He was preparing them to deal with the traumatic events and the void they would experience by His absence.  Jesus would leave them, but when He came back, before His ascension, Christ would equip them with His presence in the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Notice that Jesus contrasts the peace the world gives with His peace.  What sort of peace does our world give? When a friend experiences hardship, we usually try to assuage his/her fears with assurance that all will end up well.  We offer emotional comfort that provides temporary consolation.  The Peace Christ gives, on the other hand, is undying.  The Peace of Christ can not be earned.  It is free - paid for by Christ's sacrifice. He paid our debts when He died for us on the cross, and our peace became an enduring peace when Christ rose again and was victorious over sin and death. By faith, we are members of Christ's family.  We have a peace that is perfect and casts out all fear:
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you (Isaiah 26:3). 

Because we trust in our Savior, we need not fear the distressing events we face on earth. Our ultimate home is with our Savior in heaven, a place where traumatic news does not exist. Praise be to God that our Peace in Christ is everlasting!

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