What is peace? A question I am sure everyone asks at one time or another.
Jesus said in the book of John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you…”
The bible tells us peace comes from Jesus. After telling us Jesus gives His peace or bequeaths it to us which is something you would do in your last will and testament before you died, he tells us it is not peace as the world gives you. So what is this peace that is so different to what the world considers peace?
The rest of verse 27 gives us an instruction:
“….Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
The Amplified bible extends this to say “…[Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”
Well how do we do this?
Proverbs 16:7 tells us “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
So we are told we need to please the Lord in our ways, another clue as to how we can have this peace bequeathed to us.Well what makes us afraid? Lets think about this for a minute. Do you fear:
- being rejected by people or by God
- not being adequate to the task ahead
- looking stupid in front of your friends or family
- letting people down
- something bad happening to you
- losing someone you love
- making mistakes
These thoughts and many more can enter our minds daily and steal our peace so how do we deal with them when they come?
Most of us recognise quickly when irrational fears are unjustified and can disregard them very quickly, but what about fear of losing a loved one when they are doing something dangerous, fear that you won’t have enough money to pay your bills because you’ve just lost your job or fear that you can’t get away from a dangerous situation or person yourself. These and many more very real fears can take hold of any of us so how do we find peace in these circumstances?
These type of fears are normally counteracted by our built-in fight or flight mechanism. But there are times when it isn’t possible to do anything about these situations even when we’ve done everything we can to avoid them, do something to change or control them or walk away from them. If our own strength is not enough then we can get hurt at times, we do run away and we do try to control others and stop them from taking risks or try to reach some type of agreement with others or find help in another human being. But does this bring us peace?
Yes, you say I called the police when Bill hit me last time, I made my son promise not to drive when he’s drunk, I’ve paid for the best medical attention possible for my dad, I’ve borrowed some money to tide me over till I find another job. Do these solutions give you peace? Yes, you say but can you guarantee what you or others have done will really resolve the issues and give you permanent peace regardless of circumstances when or if they change? To find our own peace is a constant battle.
Will you be able to:
“Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]” as John 14: 27 instructs us ?
How can we follow the instruction above and find this type of peace? I believe the answer is to take hold of the peace Jesus has bequeathed us, but how?
John 3: 16 and 17 tells us that” God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He gave up His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in ( trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish ( come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal ( everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge ( to reject, condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him..”
From my own personal experience of doing just this: putting my trust in Jesus I find that when I’m afraid I can go to Him in prayer, call on His name and give Him my fear and He leads me through it and out the other side victorious. Yes it’s through trusting in Him that I overcome fear and find that perfect peace. The battle becomes His rather than mine.
When we look to the cross where Jesus died to take our sin and our punishment so we could have eternal life, and recognise our own sin is part of what put Him there, we can turn from it and ask Him for a new start no matter how terrible we think our sin is. He took it all on that cross. It’s for Whoever that he died. When God raised Him from the dead He gained the victory over sin and death and bequeathed us that PEACE.