Peace That the World Just Can't Give

Friday, January 11, 2013

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. - Jesus (Jn. 14:27)

“My peace I give to you…not as the world gives.” This statement leads me to think… What kind of peace does the world give?

  • The world can give a temporary feeling of calm. When the kids are quiet, the day’s work is over, the stresses of life are momentarily out of the way – we can brew a cup of Earl Gray, curl up with a good novel, and feel calm for a while. You don’t need a personal relationship with Jesus in order to enjoy a temporary feeling of calm.
  • The world can give a form of insurance against the tragedies and changes of life: health insurance, accident insurance, life insurance, flood protection, bomb shelters, retirement accounts. These can give a surface-level assurance that you and your loved ones are protected no matter what. (There’s nothing wrong with insurance, but let’s be honest - it can only protect you to a limited extent.)
  • The world can give a deception that all is well with your soul. The spirit of this age teaches that as long as you are a decent person and don’t murder anybody, you’ll be okay in eternity (if there is indeed any such thing as eternity). If there is a God, his standard isn’t all that high and nearly all of us will slip over his low bar of justice.
These are a few examples of the peace the world can give. But the peace Jesus gives is different. And it is far better because it is far deeper and far more lasting and far more real. It’s a peace that the world just can’t give.

Biblically speaking, peace is a steadfast wellness of the soul that results from reconciliation with God and leads to harmony with others.

Recently I cracked open a fortune cookie and read this advice: “Peace comes from within. Seek it from yourself.” Though this is fairly common advice, it is tragically horrible advice. You can have no lasting inner peace unless all is well between you and your Maker. And the Bible tells us that all is not well between us and our Maker because we have offended Him deeply, intentionally, and repeatedly. Our thoughts, our words, our actions, even our very nature is depraved. All the subjective inner peace you can conjure up will not change the objective reality that God’s wrath is on its way.

This is where the good news of Jesus Christ comes in. Romans 5:1 says we have “peace with God” if we have been “justified by faith.” Jesus, the sinless Son of God, hung on the cross to satisfy the wrath of God that was coming our way. Then God raised Jesus from the dead! If you place your faith in Jesus – if you receive his offer of forgiveness – God “justifies” you. This means that He considers you righteous because Jesus died and rose in your place. There is nothing I can do to please God on my own, but God is completely pleased with what Jesus did in my place. So I am no longer considered a rebellious enemy of God, but I am child of God – a member of his dearly loved family. I have been reconciled to God. I have peace with Him.
If you're seeking peace, let me assure you that you are on a worthy quest. And let me encourage you - you can find peace. You can find peace by finding God through Jesus Christ.

When you have peace with God, inner peace follows. Here's how it works: if I am in Christ, that means God is for me. And if God is for me, that means everything he allows into my life - even difficulty and sadness - is intended for my ultimate good. Peace with God also leads to peace with others. If God could forgive me despite my many offenses against Him, surely I can forgive others when they offend me!

Through Christ, I can have true peace no matter what situation I find myself in. Because peace is not absence of conflict or a feeling of calm. It is complete wellness of my inner being even in the midst of outward turmoil. This is why Jesus could say to His disciples - just hours before his torture and execution - “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (Jn. 16:33)


  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP