“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.”
Our world is characterized by a lack of peace. In some ways the world of the first-century Church was not that dissimilar. Indeed, contrary to the hopes and expectations of Israel, Jesus had not come as a conquering hero. Instead He had come to change the hearts and minds of people and restore, to those who would listen, their lost relationship with God. Into the current situation that they faced, and into the situations He knew would arise in the future, He said purposefully,
“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 16:33)
‘In this world you will have trouble.’ ‘In Me you may have peace.’ The former is a reality about which they, and we, could do little or nothing. The latter was the reality of a gift that He offered. The former was external, the latter internal and of the spirit. Some people will be in turmoil even where there is a human peace all around them. Others will know God’s peace both in calm times and in times of trouble. The difference is simple. God is not of the world – but He is in us, those who believe and trust in Him.
No matter who you are, or where you are – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, financially or relationally – no matter how you feel about yourself, what’s happened to you in the past, or what will happen to you in the future, no matter what you may have done or not done, Jesus Christ offers you this peace. It is the peace of God Almighty, a Father of true and wonderful love, the peace of a Saviour who died and rose for you, and the peace of the Holy Spirit forever within the people of God. It is a peace that is founded on eternal internals and not expiring externals. It is the peace of God Himself – in and through all the storms of life.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1)
Hold on to the presence of God – in thought and prayer – all the time. Talk to Him through the day. Trust His word.
Lord Jesus it’s so very hard sometimes – when everything within me screams, ‘what about me!?” Please help me to ask You to come closer, to accept your hand and promise, and to trust You for the journey ahead. Help me, please, to know and trust Your love for me. Amen.