The sea in my featured photo looks so tranquil and peaceful, doesn’t it? It was – on that particular day, but the very next day the waves were crashing over the sea wall. The sea, like our lives, is prone to storms.
We’d all love a peaceful, storm-free life wouldn’t we? It would be lovely if our lives were free of drama and we could float on a sea of constant tranquility. Why, when Jesus left us the precious gift of peace, does peace seem to allude so many?
Not As The World Gives…
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”(John 14:27)
The peace Jesus promised is “not as the world gives.” It isn’t what most people imagine peace to be. But it’s far better! Every difficulty and stormy season in life is filled with opportunity and choice. Our faith, purpose and focus can be shaken, or we can draw closer to God; take shelter in his mighty presence and know the peace of God.
The peace Jesus promised was not all tranquil lakes and storm free skies; the peace Jesus gives is HIMSELF: it’s his presence, living in us, in the person of the Holy Spirit, so that we have peace deep inside, no matter what storm we might be in externally.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”(John 10:10)
We have a relentless enemy, a thief and liar, who never misses an opportunity in his attempts to kill our faith in Jesus, to steal our peace, and ultimately to destroy our lives.
But God has fully equipped us with strength and courage to make it through to the other side of every difficulty, and best of all, in his steadfast love he is always with us:
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”(Isaiah 54:10)
In storms, we have a choice:
1) To agree with the constant drip-feed lies of our enemy: This is too hard. God has abandoned you. Just give up.
2) To put our trust in God – stand up to worry and anxiety and believe that God can and will do as he has said.
“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”(Romans 8:6)
The Peace of God
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:6-7)
In the Bible we find three aspects of peace relating to God.
· Peace with God: This describes the relationship that we enter into with God through the completed work of Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1)
· Peace from God: This is the peace Paul refers to at the start of his letters; his greeting a reminder that our peace comes to us as a gift from God.
· The peace of God: This is the peace spoken of in Philippians 4:7. The peace “which surpasses all understanding.” In other words; it is beyond our ability to understand how someone could be filled with peace in the adverse circumstances they are facing.
It is this peace – the peace of God, in the person of Jesus, that promises to “guard our hearts and minds,” in the midst of every adversity, storm and hardship.