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Dear Partner,

As we approach the end of the year it seems we are being bombarded with dire warnings about the collapse of the worldwide economy, the European debt crisis causing a global recession, the potential for increased warfare in the Middle East, and much more. Not only is this being broadcast over the secular news channels, but I am hearing similar warnings from prophets in the body of Christ. I am not a prophet. I do not know whether all of these things are truly coming upon us in 2012 or not. But I do know what Jesus said to us concerning worry and fear:

John 14:27   Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. KJV

That is the King James version and it is very straightforward and easy to understand. Jesus puts the responsibility squarely on "us" to "let not" our hearts be troubled and to "neither let it" be afraid. He does not do that "for us." He commanded us to do it. The Amplified Bible brings out more of the nuances of the original Greek language that the New Testament was first written in. Here is that same verse in the Amplified Bible:

John 14:27   Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] AMPLIFIED

What a powerful statement when Jesus said, "Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed." Most people would respond something like, "I can't help it Jesus. That's just how I am. I am a person who worries. I can't help but worry." He would respond, "No, that is not who you are. There is nothing fearful or cowardly about the new nature you received when you were born again. You received My nature. That why I can now give you My peace."

Think about all of the trouble that Jesus faced during His three and half years of ministry on earth. The religious community constantly opposed Him. They actually plotted how they could kill Him more than once. Even Judas, a trusted friend, betrayed Him at the end. He knew the scourging post was coming where He would be lashed 39 times. He knew the agonies of the cross were coming where He would suffer and die. But even with the certain knowledge that all those things were in front of Him He was at peace. Even though He was "tempted in all points like as we are" [Heb 4:15] He refused to allow His heart to be troubled. He did not permit Himself to be fearful, intimidated, cowardly, or unsettled. How could He do that? Because He put His trust in His Father God.

Most people would say, "Yes, but that was Jesus. Mere men cannot live like that." Oh yes they can. The bible is full of people facing all kinds of horrible circumstances, yet they refused fear and remained at peace. Remember when Peter was scheduled to be executed the next morning? The angel came to set him free from the prison and when he got there Peter was asleep between two guards. The angel had to tap him on the side to wake him up. Most people would have been worried to death if they were facing certain death the next morning. Not Peter. Why not? Because he put his trust in the words Jesus had previously spoken that he would live to be an old man. [John 21: 18] Peter was not yet old. He knew he would not die young. No matter how bad the circumstances looked, no matter what king Herod had decreed, Peter trusted in the word of God and "refused" to worry. He "did not permit" his heart to fear.

Not only Peter learned how to live above worry and fear. Listen to the words of Paul as he describes the peace he and the other apostles learned to walk in while experiencing trouble on every side:

2Cor 4:6-9   For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. KJV

The enemy was throwing every evil circumstance he could at them. He was hoping they would give up their ministry assignments. He was trying to get them to believe, "Because of your circumstances it should be obvious that God has forsaken you. You should just give up and quit." But I love how Paul responded to the attacks. He knew the truth and therefore he declared:

  1. We are troubled but not distressed. (not troubled, worried, anxious)

  2. We are perplexed but not in despair. (not hopeless, depressed, despondent)

  3. We are persecuted but not forsaken. (not abandoned, desolate, isolated)

  4. We are cast down but not destroyed. (not shattered, smashed, ruined)

Let us obey our Lord Jesus and not allow ourselves to worry. Let us not permit ourselves to be fearful, intimidated, cowardly, or unsettled. The Lord has promised us He will NEVER leave us or forsake us. Greater is He that is in us than He that in the world. No matter how bad the circumstances may be, we are more than conquerors through Him that loves us.

Sue and I love you and appreciate you.   We thank God for your generous and giving heart.   God bless you!


Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter

 

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