The followers of Jesus must live lives flowing with peace and joy, which can be passed on to others. Peter, the disciple of Jesus, lost his peace and joy, when he was morally and spiritually depleted and defeated. Peter denied knowing Jesus three times when agreeing could have cost him his life. Fear, instead of faith in the living God, overtook him. Jesus had warned Peter that before the rooster crowed, he would deny Him (Luke 22:54-62). The Words of Christ, however, full of grace and truth, came true as they always do. The grace of God was visible in Peter’s repentance, as he received his forgiveness and freedom, and his peace and joy in Christ Jesus was restored.
When we succumb to temptations, the immediate result is a loss of the peace that passes all understanding! The evil one works overtime to defeat us inwardly, thus making us outwardly ineffective. As a reflection into your life, analyse what tempts you and how, and ask God to help you figure out what’s underneath your temptations. Do you engage in substance abuse because you feel depressed or hopeless? Do you flirt or engage in “pleasant” sexual fantasies, because you are insecure or feel unloved and want to feel desirable or important? Do you continually brood about how someone irritates you, fuelling your anger toward him or her? Thoughts can become compulsive and continue for years, robbing you of the joy that comes from a clean conscience.
Guard your mind and heart against anything that may cause you to stumble and fall. Renew your mind with the Word of God and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Think about things that are excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8) and stop dwelling on things that do not honor God (2 Cor. 10:5). We will remain restless unless we focus our energy in loving God and His creation. Is there an evidence of peace and joy in our lives that we can pass on to others?