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By Dr. Al Hearne II

peaceful river trees

The Apostle John shares a profound theological truth: God is peace, in John 14:27, "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." This verse highlights the difference between the enduring peace Jesus offers and the temporary comfort in the world.

The phrase "not as the world gives" is not just a passing remark but a distinction that sets Jesus' peace apart from the temporary, often shallow peace offered by worldly standards.  The world's view of peace is often limited to the absence of conflict or the attainment of personal comfort and happiness.  It is a fleeting state that can be easily disrupted by any external circumstance. In stark contrast, Jesus' peace is not conditional; it does not rely on human efforts to achieve or maintain it. It is a deep, enduring peace that comes from Christ, a peace that is not of this world.

Jesus freely gives us a different type of peace.  This peace flows from God's nature.  It is a profound, all-encompassing wholeness and well-being.  It is spiritual and unshakable by the world.  It reflects God's perfect order and sovereignty over creation, offering a sense of security that surpasses all understanding.  God's peace embodies the reconciliation and restoration of all things to their intended state of relationship with Him.

Understanding these differing perspectives on peace highlights the revolutionary nature of the peace that Jesus offers.  Acceptance of Jesus' peace is not a mere cessation of conflict but a transformation of the heart and mind regarding what it means to live in a relationship with God.  The peace Jesus offers is unconditional, not based on merits or actions.  Unlike the peace the world promises, which often comes with conditions and requires something in return, Jesus' peace is a gift freely given to all who are willing to receive it.

The peace of Christ is grounded in the certainty of God's sovereignty, the assurance of His love, and the promise of His eternal presence.  It's a peace that doesn't depend on circumstances.  Instead, it transcends them, offering unwavering stability and hope even in the midst of the greatest struggles in daily life.  When Jesus says, "Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid," he is acknowledging our natural human inclinations towards fear and anxiety.  Yet, He offers a solution far superior to any human coping mechanism: His peace.  This peace acts as an antidote to fear and anxiety, a safeguard for our hearts and minds against the struggles of daily life.  This peace is not just for moments of calm but for every season of life.

Notice that this peace is a gift, freely given and not imposed.  It necessitates our acceptance and readiness to trust in Jesus and His promises.  In this acceptance, our fears and anxiety are replaced with a sense of security that surpasses all understanding. 

As you reflect on John 14:27, consider your experience of Christ's peace.  How does this peace differ from the world's definition of peace?  How can you fully embrace and reflect this peace in your daily life? 


[The image this week The Gift of Peace was created by Dalle.]


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