On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19 NIV)!
Friend to Friend
Audrey pulled the cover over her eyes.
“Check for bears,” she begged.
I checked one more time. I held up a dust bunny and we laughed because that certainly wasn’t a bear. Yet her fears remained. Finally, I climbed in the bed with her until she fell asleep, her tiny form pressed against mine.
Have you ever struggled with fear? We all have. In John 20, a group of disciples are gripped with anxious thoughts. They had witnessed Jesus’ arrest and death on the cross. They had heard the rumors that authorities were searching for followers of Jesus. So, they hid.
When a group of women rushed through the door to tell them the tomb was empty, they left their hiding place and ran to the site. Just as their friends had said, the tomb yawned open wide.
But surely it was a trick. Surely soldiers had hid Jesus’ body and they lay in wait to trap them. Though the disciples desperately wanted to believe, fear reigned.
They trudged away from the tomb and toward their hiding place. That’s when Jesus entered the story.
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you’” (John 20:19 NIV)!
Though the door was barred, Jesus broke through all barriers to be near to His disciples.
There was no condemnation for their fearful thoughts. Jesus didn’t point out all the times He had told them He would rise on the third day. Instead, He came close and breathed peace over their hearts. Fear fled and peace took its place.
When we are in fear’s grip, we may not know what to do.
Call on Jesus.
There are no barriers that keep Him away. He is not dismayed by your anxious thoughts. He isn’t asking you to be stronger, more faith-filled, or comparing you to anyone else. Instead, He offers to breathe peace over your heart. He invites you to come out of hiding and to come near to Him. He reminds you that His strength is sufficient until you are no longer afraid.
When I remind Audrey of the bear story, she laughs. She is nine years old now, and it has been a long time since she believed a bear lived under her bed. Yet she learned a sweet lesson. When she is afraid, she can call her “Gaga,” and I’ll be there.
However, I am no match for the One who truly is peace.
If you are battling fear, call on Him. He loves you and there’s no need to hide.
Heavenly Father, I’ve felt shame over fear and that doesn’t come from You. You speak peace over my heart, and I receive it. Instead of hiding from You, I will turn toward You. I bring my anxious thoughts to You for You are my peace,
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Now It’s Your Turn
Romans 8:1 says there is no condemnation (disapproval, judgment, criticism) for those who love Christ Jesus. In what ways does this encourage you when battling fear?
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What a lovely devotional of God’s love and the peace that He gives us, Thank You for writing this. When I was a kid, I thought there were wolves in my closet. My mother propped a chair at the doorway so if they came out they would trip on the chair, and that would give me enough time to run to my parents room 🙂 When I was 17, I was laying in bed, gripped in fear, nothing had happened, but it was fear of darkness, like there was an evil to the darkness. I was so afraid I could bearing breathe. I was laying on my side, so one ear was in the pillow, but I heard a whisper in both ears, “I’m here”, and I felt the wave of peace go from my head to my toes immediately, my thought response was, “OK” , and I drifted off to sleep. I was just thinking of this moment with tears in my eyes at how amazing this was when I read this devotion today…had to share. He is the same, He is as present, and as powerful, and as peaceful as He always has been. Glory be to our God!
Suzie, thank you for the reminder of the free gift of peace Jesus offers us. And Carolyn, thank you for your story that proves He is still near and speaks to his children when we need him the most!
You are welcome, Cathy. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. : )
Thanks, Suzie. 🙂 I was just battling fear yesterday, and what do you know…the GiG devotional the next day is about Jesus as our peace.
I love it when that happens. : )
Thank you for the prayer you wrote.
I’m a senior. In the eyes of those who are younger; they have made me realize I’m driven by anxiety and fear. I guess my whole life time has been managed by this condition, which has held me back in so many ways ( job positions, where I’ve lived, personal relationships, etc.).
Jesus wants us to live boldly! It amazes me that over 300 verses in the Bible are about fear vs. faith. I want to live by Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous; for the Lord is with you wherever you go.”
And to compliment you reference of Romans 8:1; verse 31, is a promise for me too; “if God is for us, who can be against us?”
Thank you again for blessing me this am with your inspired writing.
You know what I love about your comment. It’s so strong and brave and shows that we keep growing. There is no point where we are stagnant, so run with this beautiful insight God has given you. It’s mostly likely encouraged others who are reading this today and I am grateful for that.
Thank you for sharing! I got baptized yesterday and my scripture for the day was Isaiah 43:1-3 “Fear not… thou art mine” and that is my new reality until eternity!
My sister died yesterday, so in the midst of sadness and heartbrokenness, I have peace and joy because of Christ, my Savior, my redeemer!!
Blessings to all!
Oh Father, wrap around Marie today in her grief. Thank you for the love of a sweet sister and for every precious memory.
God bless you all and thank you for the writings and sincere comments. And Maria, I offer a special prayer for you. You have truly chosen the One Who is closer to than a brother!
Sue, I love that you took the time to encourage others. <3 We are definitely stronger together.
I love how your mother came alongside you to conquer your fears. She did that as she simply validated that your fears mattered, and that she was with you. Beautiful!
the part where you write @He isn’t dismayed by our anxious thoughts , he isn’t asking us to be stronger, more faith-filled or comparing us to others”. This jumped out at me … gave me a peace knowing He still loves us just the way we are. I don’t go church (all my family is Catholic) I am Deaf so I don’t get the comfort& community of church like most people do.
Thank you for your words of wisdom that gives me us a more peaceful feeling in my heart.
One of the other guest wrote that there are over 300 verses of faith vs fear in bible – gave me an idea that i can do by searching the bible for these verses.
That’s a great place to begin. : ) I love how God sees us and meets us right where we are.
Thank you for this devotional, I was battling with fear today. I asked the Lord to send me a sign and then I read today’s devotional! I have Chemotherapy tomorrow and appointment with oncologist.
Thank you Jesus for your peace and Your understanding of our weaknesses and that we are flesh.
I am a two-time cancer survivor, Diane. Praying over you right now for peace and comfort and strength beyond measure.
Thank you Suzie! It really touched me that the Lord doesn’t condemn us when we’re weak. ♥️☝🏽
I suffer from anxiety, that is sometimes crippling, and I have had that since my teens. Back then they didn’t have a name for it and you got treated by a psychiatrist for a mental disorder and made to feel that it was all in your head and there was something wrong with you. Medicine and science have come a long way since then, regarding panic disorder. Thank you sweet Jesus for that.
So your lovely devotional really hit home with me. God bless you for continuing to do God’s work and helping people like myself.
Thank you for these wonderful messages about fear. They help me so much and I hope you will continue to produce them.
Father, thank you for stepping into Julie’s thoughts — good, anxious, hopeful. You abide in all of them. You walk through all of them with her. I love that about you. Thank you for her courage in sharing today, amen.