Can’t Quarantine the Gospel: “Inside Out”

Day 23 of our series by Octavia Oliver. Octavia helps us see how we may find peace through challenging times through the Bible. Any of the Devotionals can be read as a stand alone quiet time(s). Don’t rush through this devotional.You can see more devotionals here

Inside Out

Octavia Oliver

Some definitions before we dive in:

eiréné (i-ray’-nay) ~ one, peace, quietness, rest; from eirō, “to join, tie together into a whole

kosmos (kos’-mos) ~ the world, universe; worldly affairs; the inhabitants of the world; adornment.

kardia (kar-dee’-ah) ~ the heart; mind, character, inner self, will, intention, center. “the affective center of our being”

deiliaó (di-lee-ah’-o) ~ to shrink, be fearful, timid, cowardly. Living in dread (paralyzing fear of consequences)

Set the scene

It’s time for the Passover Feast (John 13) and Jesus is with his disciples in the Upper Room. He has washed their feet, they have eaten, and Judas Iscariot has stepped out to run an errand. Then Jesus gives them “the talk.” (You know, the one where Peter finds out about the rooster crowing? Yeah, that talk.) They had traveled everywhere with Jesus for 3 years, and now he’s going somewhere without them? He’s leaving them? The disciples were confused and upset. There is much discussion. He reassures them and tells them the Holy Spirit will be with them until he returns. 

Q: How would you feel if the person you looked up to and has been guiding you was going to leave?
Q: What do you fear?

Jesus Comforts

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”

John 14.27

Now lets plug in our greek definitions:

“Peace [peace of mind & wholeness] I leave with you; my peace [Jesus’s peace] I give you. I do not give as the world [the inhabitants of the world] gives. Do not let your hearts [inner self] be troubled, and do not let them be afraid [shrink or be paralyzed by fear].


The Greek word for “afraid” in this passage is unique: “deilianó” only appears in the Bible this one time. This fear runs deep into our hearts, our inner self, our center, our hearts “kardia”. Nothing external can ever hope to reach it. Nothing the “kosmos” has to offer could even come close! The only remedy is peace that comes from within, the peace of Jesus himself that he offers to give us. We don’t acquire it, he leaves it with us, gives it to us, like a precious gift.

We often look for peace that comes from outside of us, from the world. It comes from something else or somewhere else or someone else. Sometimes, when we get what we think will bring us peace, ultimately, we are disappointed. So, we look for the next thing that we think will bring us peace. The world has a lot to offer, but it always comes up short.

Q: Where are you most tempted to search for peace in troubling times?

I became a disciple in 1992. I grew a lot in different areas of my life, but the promised peace of GOD alluded me. Outwardly, it would seem I had everything the world could offer, but inwardly I had been struggling to find peace. 2001 was particularly difficult. I didn’t know what to do and everything I tried failed. The morning of September 11 was when I can remember things starting to turn. When the towers fell, I fell to my knees asking GOD, “What good can possibly come of this?” And he answered me! We all witnessed the good that happened all over the world. It was traumatic, especially for New Yorkers, but we came out different and the world was never the same for us. From that time to now, I have experienced the peace that surpasses understanding from the inside.

Right now is another time where we may cry out to God, “What good can possibly come of this?” This virus is attacking the whole world, including my beloved island of Manhattan. But I am at peace. I am concerned about my friends and family on the front lines, but I am not afraid. I feel strong enough to try and help others who may not be experiencing the peace that passes understanding.

What about you? Have you attained the peace that Jesus is talking about? Right now, you may be experiencing anxiety and fear. You are looking for relief, something to reassure you it will be alright. Peace. You are looking for peace. Do you know where to find it? It is already inside of you; Jesus left his guarantee by giving you the Holy Spirit. If you aren’t experiencing it, don’t worry, don’t be afraid. This is the perfect opportunity to find it. Get deep into the Word and Prayer, you have the time…we all do…

Reflect: Close your eyes and imagine Jesus having this conversation with you. Imagine going to him with your fears and anxieties and him comforting you by offering you His peace, a piece of himself.

Pray: Lay all of your paralyzing fears at Jesus’s feet through prayer. Let them go, don’t hold onto them. Ask God for any answers you are seeking right now during this time, He will give you answers that might surprise you if you are willing to ask. 

“And the peace of GOD, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4.7


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