“Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.”
John 14:27 (NASB)
Series Focus: “Back to the Basics”
One of my favorite movie scenes is from Miss Congeniality. During the beauty pageant interviews, the host asks, “What is the one most important thing our society needs?” The unanimous answer? “World Peace.” The main character deviates from this singular response, and a “holy hush” descends upon the audience. In the pressure of the moment, the unlikely contestant defers to the popular projection: World Peace.
What would that look like, and is it obtainable? In this era of international conflict, social unrest, school shootings, community violence, sex trafficking, border conflicts, human suffering, and so much more… Is World Peace even feasible?
No, it is not. Jesus Himself said that in this world we would have trouble. Yet, He also instructed us to be cheerful because He has overcome the world. But what does that mean? Let’s look at that scripture context. In John 16:31-33, Jesus is recorded to have said:
“Do you now believe? Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Those who believe in Jesus will be scattered upon the earth. Jesus went to Calvary to fulfill His purpose. While facing the Cross, He spoke truth to the disciples—and to us—so that no matter the circumstances we face, we may have PEACE!
Every single one of us will encounter troubles. So how can we experience and know His peace, despite our struggles? Well, there’s scripture for that, too.
In Isaiah 26:3 (ESV), the prophet wrote:
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
In 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NASB), Paul declared:
God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.
Finally, in Philippians 4:4-7 (NASB), Paul exhorted:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
This world will always present trials, tribulations, and chaos. But we who are in Christ can securely rest in the promises of God. He who promised is faithful. There is no variance in His character. God is Love. He is merciful and long-suffering. God has overcome the evil in the world and provided peace to those who believe upon Him and trust in Him.
Therefore, when the world presents it’s turmoil and crisis, here’s how we rest in the peace of God: 1) Rejoice in the Lord always; 2) Be gentle; 3) Know God is with you always; 4) Pray to Him; 5) Ask the Lord in all things; 6) Be thankful at all times; 7) Do all this with Jesus Christ as your center, your focus, your foundation.
Perhaps world peace is unattainable in this day and age. However, daily we can partake of His surpassing peace by applying ourselves in Hope, Faith and Joy. Our prayer for you today is this, from 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NASB):
May the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Isaiah 9:6, 26:3; Luke 7:50, 8:48; John 14:25-30, 16:33; Romans 5:1, 15:13; 1 Corinthians 14:33; Philippians 4:4-7; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; 1 Peter 5:7