Read John 14:27
27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (NLT)
Peace is in pretty short supply. In international relations, in our own government and society, in our families or neighbourhoods. Yet it seems Jesus wants his followers to have peace. Note that his peace is different though. Worldly peace is absence of trouble or conflict; it is the product of relatively serene circumstances.
Jesus’ sort of peace does not depend on external circumstances. It is not based on the absence of trouble but the presence of God. And it is sometimes only seen clearly in retrospect. We look back on a troubled time and are surprised at how we coped. It seems we are given peace when and if we need it, not in some sort of bulk lot to be drawn upon when circumstances demand it.
Also, it may well be like one writer describes it: God’s peace is not like a parent draping a blanket over a sleeping child to keep them warm at night. It is more like a parent laying a blanket at the foot of the bed so the child herself may take hold of it and keep warm. Maybe we don’t experience God’s peace because we assume it comes to us automatically, a feeling that kicks in when trouble strikes. Maybe we have to appropriate it for ourselves: the offered gift needs to be received to do any good.
We are to trust that God is good and with us despite feelings to the contrary. We call to mind the Scriptures and our past experiences to remind ourselves of what might not be readily apparent. In that way, God’s peace is the sort of peace we have when things are anything but peaceful.
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