Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
In August, I learned that Dr. Nabeel Qureshi has been diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer. Nabeel, a former Muslim and medical doctor, became a follower of Jesus several years ago. Since then, he has dedicated his life to sharing Jesus with others and, in particular, those of the Muslim faith. I have had the privilege of attending some excellent lectures by Nabeel. His book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is a moving account of his journey to faith in Jesus.
At his request, we and many others around the world are praying for healing from cancer and restoring of complete health. One comment in Nabeel’s announcement really leapt out at me.
“I have firm faith that my soul is saved by the grace and mercy of the Triune God, and not by any accomplishment or merit of my own. I am so thankful that I am a child of the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sealed in the Spirit. No, in the midst of the storm, I do not have to worry about my salvation, and for that I praise you, God.”
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
In essence, Nabeel is saying that, in the midst of his storm, he is experiencing internal peace. I relate to Nabeel’s story on both the personal and business levels. On the personal level, in June 2011, my doctor informed me that I had early stage, non-smokers lung cancer. Like Nabeel, I experienced a range of emotions. I can say, however, that fear was not one of them. In fact, I experienced a deep peace in the storm knowing that Jesus was “in the boat with me” and everything was under control. Today, I am cancer free. I thank God and the gifted thoracic surgeon He used to remove the malignant growth as well as my family and friends who supported me through this particular storm.
On the business level, the investment industry is full of surprises, often negative. On a regular basis, I was confronted by unsettling news. While I could cite many different examples, the global financial meltdown in 2008, which dramatically impacted my business and my net worth in the early days of the crisis, is particularly vivid. During that tumultuous time, I was not immune to emotions but nonetheless did not succumb to fear. My confidence in God’s goodness and His care for me made all the difference. As a result, I experienced a peace in the financial storm that I can only say was uncommon on Bay Street! For me, faith in God is of supreme relevance to both my professional and personal lives.
Many people today define peace as an absence of unsettling external events. However, while most of us experience peaceful conditions at various points in our lives, the reality is that we will all face challenges, some of them huge. John the apostle recorded the following words of Jesus,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b)
John also recorded these words of Jesus,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Is your peace a function of your internal or external environment? Would you like to connect with Jesus, the person whom the Bible describes as the prince of peace? We would love to hear from you.
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.