Peace as the World Gives It
"God can not give us peace apart from himself because there is no such thing."
As a Christian, I’ve tried to be brutally honest with myself about my growth in Christ. I know the way I become more like Christ is not in trying harder but in depending upon His Indwelling Spirit as He bears fruit in my life. I can personally testify that apart from Him I can do nothing.
That being said, I've asked him to show me areas in my life which I need to fully surrender. I believe surrender is multifaceted in that it's a thing you do once and every day.
God has answered by prayer. He's shown me I need to surrender my love of peace.
In a non condemning, but serious manner, the Holy Spirit made me aware than I'm an idolater.
With trembling lips and a ferocious desire to turn from my sin, I confess I have disobeyed the first and second commandments.
Here's the verse He used to enlighten me and usher in a deep desire for healing.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27
When I read Jesus' words, I know Christ alone is Peace. However, I also realize I have had others gods and have worshiped the idol of “Peace as the world gives it.”
My desire for peace in my world has controlled my life. Above all else I fight for the peace of feeling healthy, to-do list tamed, bills paid, clutter cleared and relationships smooth. And while these things are all worthy goals, the inner peace they may bring will not last.
And besides, how often does 'peace as the world gives it' really happen? Though we long for it.
Yet even above my love of God I love peaceful circumstances.
Peace in Chaos
Growing up in a chaotic family, ripped by divorce, I’ve been searching for peace a long time. As a college student, the Prince of Peace made himself known to me. I trusted Christ with my life, but not with my troubles.
Though I thought I trusted God, each unpaid bill, busted water heater, child missing the bus and work call in the middle of the night, built up heavy burdens on my shoulders.
I struggled in my own strength to put out each fire, believing it was all up to me. I hadn't learn to trust in my Heavenly Father to work through me to handle each situation. I was trying to fight for my own peace. My goal each day was to get through my duties with the least amount of problems. My inner peace was directly related to the circumstances in my world.
But God did not leave me this way. He showed me, my desire for peace was an obsession which stifled His life in me. He showed me that until I truly understood He is my peace, every relationship would suffer.
Jesus is the Calm in our Storms
When Jesus said in the above verse, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you;" He contrasted His peace with the peace I have longed for.
The perfect picture of this kind of peace which transcends circumstances is depicted in Mark 4:35-41 when Jesus calms a storm at sea.
On that day, when evening came, He *said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they *took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there *arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they *woke Him and *said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”
We will face storms. When we do it is important to seek Jesus as our peace amidst the storms. Certainly, we want storms to be over and to have peaceful circumstances. However, through it all Jesus and Jesus alone is our peace.
We can rest in Him no matter what is going on in our world.
But truly knowing Jesus is our Peace is not a one-time realization. Every time we feel our hearts disrupted by the storms of life, we must go back to John 14:27 and count it true that He is our peace.
What circumstance is stealing your peace right now?
In the midst, count it true that Jesus is peace. Speak it out loud, "Jesus you are my peace."
Even as you say it, peace will flood your soul.
If you feel anxious, follow what Paul commands in Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Fight for your peace
Be vigilant in fighting for your peace. God has given us emotions as indicators of how we're doing. Don't ignore your feelings.
When fear or anxiety creeps into your heart, cut these thieves off at their first arrival. They have come to steal your peace and your joy. The longer these feelings fester, the more they can grip your heart and discourage you.
Remember what Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and might have it abundantly."
Abundant life means abundant peace, not fear and anxiety.
Cry out to Jesus when you first realize your peace has been attacked.