Have you ever seen one of those live news reports where a journalist is broadcasting in the middle of a combat zone? Like when they’re reporting from a rooftop in a country that is in the middle of a war. It’s crazy. Blasts and explosions light up the sky all around them as they duck to avoid gunfire. If you’ve ever seen one of those reports, you know the conflict literally, swirls around them. Has conflict ever felt like this for you? Like you’re right in the middle of a battle you can’t control? When conflict happens around us, even if it has nothing to do with us, it affects us. In fact, fighting around us can often be more stressful than fights we’re directly involved in because we have control over it. We can’t fix it. We can’t run from it. We can’t really do anything about it because it has nothing to do with us. But it still hurts us. The good news for us is that conflict of this kind is not new to Jesus. In fact, before He left the Earth physically, He spoke to His disciples about peace in the middle of conflict. And, as we’ll come to understand, that same peace is available to us today, too.
John 14:27 (HCSB)
27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.
Small Group Questions
- What are your friends and family most likely to fight about?
- Why is conflict stressful, even when it has nothing to do with you?
- Are you more likely to try to FIX conflict that has nothing to do with you or RUN AWAY from it? Why?
- Why is it hard to believe that God can give you peace when everything around you is intense?
- Why is focusing on your response better than focusing on the conflict?
- What’s one way you can remind yourself to pray for peace when you’re surrounded by conflict?
- What would it look like for you to take a break from the conflict surrounding you and focus on something better?
Question of the week
I want you to think about one battle in your life right now. Ask yourself, “How can I demonstrate my faith in God on this battlefield?”
Pray for Peace. The reality is this—If you want inner peace, you have to connect to the One who gives it. Tell God about your situation. Philippians 4:6-7
Take a Break. When you’re stuck on a battlefield you didn’t sign up for, take a break from worrying about it. 1 Peter 5:7