“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” (John 14:27).
In this passage, Jesus seems to be making a point to differentiate between two types of peace: the world’s peace and His peace. Why? He wants us to recognize genuine peace and seek the Giver.
The world’s peace is shallow, fleeting. We’re confronted with a problem that causes us to worry, so we anxiously attempt to figure it out for ourselves. We quickly jump into action, relying on our own skills and resources. Often we do resolve the issue, or think we do. Peace comes, bringing a sense of relief and often pride. We did it! This peace focuses on our accomplishments and encourages us to become even more dependent on ourselves. I must admit, I settle for this type of peace far too often.
But soon the next problem arises and again we begin to worry and strive to resolve it. Life becomes a series of roller coaster rides of anxiety and relief - the anxiety never fades for long.
In contrast, God’s peace is penetrating and enduring. It comes, as He promised, whenever we surrender our resources, talents – ourselves – to Him. We face the same problems, but we intentionally put our trust in His solution, His plan. There is no roller coaster ride if we habitually turn our problems over to Him. There is no lasting worry or fear. We no longer need to strive as if it all depends on us. We are tranquil in His care for us. God’s gift of peace is secure.
"The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace" (Exodus 14:14).
Do you have peace? Right now? This moment?
Or is there a nagging voice in your head pressing you to figure out and fix that problem you face saying if you don’t, no one else will?
Yes, we will face turmoil in this world - Jesus promises that too (John 16:33). But if we practice humility and grow in our love and dependence on the Lord, we will experience more and more of His abiding peace.
Next time you and I are tempted to rush in with our own ‘fix’ to a problem, big or small, let’s step back in prayer, trust the One who already has the solution … and rest in His peace.
-Kathi Fritz (a member and peaceful writer of the COBI community)