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)
Jesus comforts his disciples in this part of John’s gospel because he knew they would need to revisit these words and hold onto them, as do we, in troubled times. He spoke truths that are hard for us to fathom and as we read them all this time later, again and again, He is still waiting for us to truly hear them, the counsellor wants to lead us into His truth.
We often settle for less than His peace, we strive for quietness and tranquillity, we long for a time without disruptors or without conflict or war. These are desirable and achievable things, but they are not the peace that Jesus is promising to us. We can achieve these peaceful moments through our own acts - we can remove ourselves from stressful situations or go to a spa, we take out insurance policies to give us peace of mind and use emergency services and responders to get us through a crisis or to keep the peace in our community. All these things are great, but they are fleeting, they are temporary and when they fail us our peace is shattered.
This is not the kind of peace Jesus was talking about. In John 14:27 the Prince of Peace Himself, the One who created peace, who is the God of peace, says He gives His peace to us! He says He does not give as the world gives, temporary and fleeting, instead, our constant and eternal king leaves His peace with us, he doesn’t loan it, He gives it to us!
The scriptures are full of the truth about His peace, in Philippians 4:7 we read of the protection that His peace brings ‘And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’
In Corinthians 13:11 we are encouraged to seek God together and enter into His peace ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you’.
In John 16:33 Jesus says ‘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.’
There is so much more to discover, and I am beginning to realise how many times I have been robbed of receiving God’s peace. I have strived and settled for a temporary, fleeting peace that is not from the source of the living God who loves us and wants to give us the real deal!
I want the peace that transcends all understanding, the peace that will rule in my heart, that will help me take heart because Jesus has overcome the world!
Let’s pray: Holy Spirit lead us into the truth, reveal to us the God of peace and as it says in 2 Thessalonians 3:16 ‘may the Lord of peace himself give [us] peace at all times and in every way, The Lord be with all of [us]’. Amen.