A man who strives to give the appearance of being a model husband and father is, in actuality, living a secret life of sexual impropriety.
A woman struggles for decades with the deep-seated belief that her depression is a result of her not being spiritual enough.
A couple continually blames themselves that their grown son has turned his back on them and God and is in a downward spiral toward self-destruction.
While their circumstances are vastly different, all are really yearning for the same thing—peace of mind and heart. Truth be told, we all desire such peace.
We live in a world that is desperate for peace. We want peace in the Middle East. We want peace in our inner cities. We want peace in our families, in our churches, in our places of employment.
And in our quest for peace we often find ourselves turning to government leaders, police departments, therapists, or self-help books.
Yet peace continues to elude us.
Perhaps we're not finding it because we're looking in the wrong places. But it could also be that "peace" is missing from our lives because we don't know exactly what it is we're looking for.
Many in our world believe that peace means being free of adversity. And, unfortunately, there are some who expound that this problem-free existence can be ours if we would but give our lives to Jesus.
That belief is unfortunate because it is not biblical.
Scripture does not record a single instance in which Jesus promises that those who follow Him will live happily ever after. In reality, He guarantees just the opposite. Jesus’ promise to His followers? Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. (Jn. 16:33, NLT)
God never tells His children that He will take our problems away. He promises to do something infinitely more meaningful: He offers to exchange our pain for His peace.
Long before Jesus was born the prophet Isaiah foretold that the Savior God would one day send to the world would be known as the Prince of Peace. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. It is often used in the Bible to refer to calm and tranquility in individuals, groups, and nations.
But a deeper, more intensely personal meaning of peace is the spiritual harmony brought about by an individual’s restoration with God.
That is the peace Jesus speaks of in John 14 when He informs His followers, I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. Not just peace. But peace of mind and heart. Peace that makes us one with the Prince of Peace.
The peace Jesus offers consumes our minds. It is the unmistakable result of an unwavering belief that God is good even when our circumstances are not; that He truly wants the best for us even when it seems things couldn’t get any worse. It is this kind of peace that allows us to trust God when we can’t for the life of us understand Him.
Jesus’ peace also permeates our hearts. We can feel it. We can sense that it is there even in situations that make no sense. It's presence is deep and abiding. It defies logic. It is heartfelt assurance that allows us to experience tranquility in our trials, serenity in our storms.
In the text from John 14, Jesus goes on to make a distinction between the peace He offers and the peace the world gives. He emphasizes that His peace is out of this world.
The peace of Jesus is starkly different from the peace the world provides. It is not temporary. It won’t wear off by morning. It will never expire. It is a peace that assures us that even in the darkest days His love for us remains. A peace that gently reminds us that we are never alone, that He is always by our side. A peace that points us to heaven, where believers will finally experience the problem-free existence that eludes us on earth.
This is the kind of peace we all crave. And it can only be found in one place.
Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings.