What is the peace that Jesus gives?
The ultimate goal is to have rest and peace in all circumstances, in all kinds of tribulations. How do we get this kind of peace?
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27. Jesus gave these words to His disciples in His farewell message, and how comforting they are. He did not give them the peace that the world gives, for which we must be extremely glad.
The reason for peace will always be anchored in something. The peace that the world gives is momentary and unstable since it totally depends on other people andthings.
This kind of peace is present when everything is going well, when people speak well about you and you receive some praise and honor, when you are doing well and things are running smoothly in most areas. Most people have experienced that this peace is extremely fickle; nevertheless, the majority of them aspire to it. One moment everything might seem so pleasant and praiseworthy, and in the next moment it is the opposite.
The peace that Jesus gives
The Master knew all this, and therefore He came with a far better offer to us; He came with God’s peace, a peace under all circumstances! It is a peace of a totally different quality, a steady and stable peace not tied to people or to this world. It is anchored within the veil – in the heavenly realm.
By nature, we are all sons of tumult. (Numbers 24:17) We do not know the way of peace. (Romans 3:17) So, how shall we get this peace? It is not something that we receive automatically. This peace becomes increasingly part of our life only when we pay heed to God’s commandments, His word. “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” John 14:23. There cannot be anything but peace with the Father and the Son in your heart and mind. (Revelation 3:20)
“Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:18. “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.” Psalm 119:165.
This peace is filled with faith and rest and certainty and power. Paul possessed it. He suffered much; he was persecuted, despised, dishonored, reviled, mistreated, etc. He endured many tribulations, but he was so bold that he wrote to the Romans in chapter 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
He knew what all his tribulations led to. We are saved precisely through sufferings, not without them. In tribulations we learn to know ourselves and God, our human weakness and God’s power! One could think that if only I didn’t have so many different tribulations I would have peace of mind, but it doesn’t work that way. The ultimate goal is to have rest and peace in all circumstances, in all kinds of tribulations. This is how the Master and the apostles lived. Everyone who desires to live God-fearing will have the same experience.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. This is overwhelming! Having overcome the world and everything that is in it! What a triumph! This way is also for us! (1 John 5:4)
Coming to the peace of God
There is much unrest in our human nature, such as egotism, arrogance, impatience, wrath, anger, mercilessness, etc. We sense that these things want to assert themselves when we come into tribulations. We become restless, and as a result we do not partake of God’s peace in our circumstances. But when we, through God’s grace and power, fight the good fight of faith until we gain the victory, there will be peace around us and in us. Think how good it is when this happens in our life, in the situations in which we live.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21. If we do that, the result will be peace, but if we do the opposite, as most likely all of us have experienced, the result is unrest – not only around us, but also within us. However, those who overcome evil with good gradually learn to know the way of peace better. How great that is! May it be God’s peace that we long for!
This article has been translated from Norwegian, and was first published with the title “Not as the world gives” in BCC’s periodical Skjulte Skatter (Hidden Treasures) in the June/July issue 2019.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.