Accepting God’s peace can be a hard thing to do….because usually when you in need of His peace, you really are not in a moment or season where you have much peace at all. Your emotions can be running high along with anxiety or pain or grief…pick an emotion, we have all been there. This promise is to help us name our worries and claim God’s peace over them.
The whole verse goes like this…
So let’s pull this apart.
1. God promised this peace in place of His human presence. The disciples and followers were pretty uncertain about the future and didn’t understand the plan that Jesus was about to take part in. They would have felt scared, uncertain, worried, sad, confused…all of these thoughts must have been going through their minds at different times. This first line in the verse promises that Jesus hasn’t left us alone, he has promised His peace in uncertain and scary times. And it is often in the moments of high emotion that we run towards God’s peace. Accept His peace courageously, because it can be hard to let go.
2. This is no ordinary peace, this is “my peace”. Jesus’ peace. The Creator of the universe’s peace. The peace that belongs to the King of all Kings has been given to us. Free. A gift from Heaven!
3. Satan and the world as we know it offers us all sorts of alternatives, to try and find peace and contentment. Satan says ‘have the right job and you will find peace’, or have the perfect house, furniture, car…and you will be content. The world says ‘Trust yourself and you will have confidence about the future.’ It says, have the perfect relationship where my own needs are met, and you will have peace. No, Jesus doesn’t give as this world gives, because this world is temporary. It’s owner is Satan. God’s peace is beyond this world, hope for a future, all about others and not ourselves. His peace is all about who you have influenced not what you have control over. His peace is all about what you have your eyes set on…earthly things, or on Jesus and the promise of Heaven.
4. God’s peace works wonders to stop our hearts being troubled and afraid. the tricky part is to trust. It can be hard to give the worries over to God. We would rather churn over them for days, getting ourselves tied up in knots. Sometimes gaining Jesus’ peace is acknowledging that this world is sin sick, and that there is unimaginable joy waiting for us in the future. The hope of Heaven and earth made new gives us new perspective on our troubles, and brings peace. Contentment, trust, hope, faith. Sometimes accepting His peace is all about acknowledging that what we are going through really sucks, but we have God’s strength to help us through. It is about realising that the tough times will have some good come out of it, one day. Maybe the tough time you are going through right now is to equip you to be the rock for someone else in the future that is going through the same thing. Maybe the thing you are going through is a reminder that we live in a sinful world and makes us hope even more for the second coming of Jesus. Nevertheless, in any situation, God’s peace is on offer.
Lord, Thank you for the promise of Your peace. I claim that peace right now, over the things in my life that troubles me or makes me afraid. I trust You, Jesus, and know that You have everything under control. Even if life is crazy at the moment, thank you that one day we will live forever, with no sin and sadness. Thank you for that hope, and for Your peace. Wash over me now, fill me with your Holy Spirit, take all my anxieties and replace it with contentment. Amen