“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.”John 14:27
The disciples were seated at the table with Jesus on the eve of the LORD’s Passover. They have, many times before, sat with Jesus to enjoy the Passover, but somehow this time was different. Jesus spoke differently, His message was strange, comparing the broken bread with His body that will be broken and the wine He compares to His blood that will flow for the forgiveness of sins of many people. The disciples looked at each other with questions in their hearts as they noticed a different expression on their Master’s countenance. They could ‘feel’ something different in the air; the atmosphere is not that of a normal Passover. Passover is a time of joyous celebration, a festival. But on this night, here at the table with Jesus, the disciples feel unsure, uncertain; should they be afraid, should they be anxious, should they be excited? They just don’t know. But Jesus knows! Isn’t it just overwhelming that Jesus knows what awaits Him at this pivotal time of His earthly ministry? It is the night before heaven and earth collided at a cross drenched with innocent blood of a sinless Lamb – and here is the Lamb of God teaching His disciples. He teaches them of divine love; He teaches them about the place to which He is going to and that He and the Father are One and the Same. On this night He also taught them of the Spirit that will come after He is gone. And in the middle of His lesson, He makes this radical promise ‘Peace I leave with you… do not be afraid!’
Have you ever been in a place in your life where everything is going well; everything is going according to plan; everything at your work is going well, your children are healthy and they excel in their schooling, your ‘Church-life’ is everything it should be – you’re sitting at the table of the King, but something ‘feels’ out of place? It feels that there is something about to happen, and you know that it isn’t necessarily something good. In times like these when doubt, anxiousness and uncertainty sets in because you don’t know what is coming, it is good to remember that there is a Shepherd who knows. His Name is Jesus! In the middle of your doubt, anxiousness and uncertainty, He is calling out to you ‘Peace I leave with you… do not be afraid!’ Know for sure that Jesus Christ walks in the middle of your storm to where you are. Remember the story of Peter when he walked on the stormy waters after Jesus called him and all the disciples were afraid? Jesus was there. Jesus is ready to pull you out of the coming stormy waters and to quiet the storm!
There are many beautiful slogans that we Christians have brought to light with the intent to encourage one another, they all sound beautiful, Biblical, and even holy: “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!” Beautiful and true – it sounds almost like something taken from the book of Proverbs! There are others that, even though it is meant for encouragement and it sounds good on the ear, that are less true to the nature and character of who God is. One in particular is this slogan: “God won’t give you what you can’t handle”. I’m terribly sorry to be the bearer of this bad news, but this slogan is as misplaced as high heels is on a bush-veldt safari! Though it has been used many times to encourage people we care about that are grieved by various trials, facing giants the size of which will make Goliath look like a walk in the park, this slogan is so far from the truth, that it could actually do more harm than good. What the Word says is that trials will last a little while: ‘though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,’(1 Peter 1:6). Jesus Himself stated that we will have trouble in this world; in John 15:18 He said we will be hated: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”, in John 16:2 He warns that we will be thrown out and killed: “They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.”, and in John 16:33 He said we will have trouble: “I have told you this so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble, but be courageous-I have overcome the world!” God gives us what we cannot handle in order for us to have our peace in Jesus Christ alone! If you could handle all things on your own then you would be able to work out your own peace,and exactly for this reason God told Paul after he cried to the Lord for a thorn in his flesh to beremoved that “My grace is all you need, for My power is perfected in weakness.”, and at thisPaul understood that he will most happily boast about hisweaknesses, so that Christ’s powermay rest on him and that is why he could say: “I take such pleasure in weaknesses, insults,hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I amstrong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
In Exodus 14:14 the Bible reads: “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Now that is peace that surpasses all understanding!
When you face trouble, persecution, hatred and the likes and you come to the point where you can’t fight anymore and you can’t work out your own peace, when your own insight, wisdom, knowledge and power fails you, you only need to surrender and God will intervene and fight foryou!
No matter what situation or crises you find yourself in right now, whether it be a financial crises, an emotional disappointment or health issues – if you surrender your problem completely toGod, He will fight for you and you will keep your peace!
You will have peace that surpasses all understanding, the peace that Jesus gives and only Jesuscan give.
The peace that He gives is not as the world gives. The world gives a peace that is short lived; aslong as things work according to your plans.
True peace is not a state of mind, not just a state of well-being that lasts for a while, rather, true peace is a Person and His name is Jesus Christ!
C.S. Lewis made a statement: “God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself”. Inother words, if you want true peace, you must have Jesus. You cannot have peace in your life ifyou do not have peace with God.
PRAYER –HeavenlyFather, I come before you in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Saviour and Lord. All myproblems and burdens I lay down at the feet of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. AMEN