What is peace?
You may think it’s something like relaxing on the beach with your toes in the sand and a drink in your hand that has a little umbrella in it. The sun is shining perfectly at 76 degrees, and there is a slight breeze, and you don’t have a care in the world. If you have children they are perfectly behaving, playing in the sand, not wandering too far into the water. If you don’t have children, there are no children screaming or kicking sand onto your blanket. The bills are all paid. Your political party is calling the shots. Your favorite sports team just won the championship. Your career choices have taken you in the direction you had hoped and everyone you work with is delightful. Your investments are skyrocketing. The dentist reported that you have no cavities and the mechanic explained that the noise you were hearing in your car was a marble rolling around under the driver’s seat, yay!
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
Look what Jesus says. That is the world’s idea of peace. That’s not for you. Because Jesus knows it’s simply not enough. That is circumstantial peace, and a bit of your own self-designed paradise on earth. That kind of peace cannot last, and will not give to you what God can give.
The danger is that you hope it will.
Test your heart when it comes to how you relax, what you find restful, and where you are in your “happy place.” Be honest and admit if you are thinking in any way, “I can be happy here without God.” If that’s a tempting thought, you are in danger of trying to create, consume and place your confidence in a worldly peace.
Those things that I listed above are not bad or sinful things, in themselves. And therein lies the danger. You are much more often tempted to replace God with good things than with bad things. You are drawn to love the gifts more than the Giver.
Rather than taking everything away (though he may take some away, and has the right to use all of it as he wills), Jesus gives you something that is out of this world. You won’t find it on Amazon. It’s not designed by the world’s best engineers. Many are searching for it but can’t find it.
Not you. You have found it. You have it. It’s yours because in his grace Jesus has given it to you.
His peace. Not the world’s peace. Not your self-designed peace with an umbrella drink.
His peace. His divinely engineered peace that is perfect. It never fails. Always fulfills. It forgives all. It is faithful in every circumstance. Nothing else controls it. It trumps every trouble, every storm and every terrible person in your life. It has power over anything that worries you or makes you afraid.
Believe in this peace because Jesus says it belongs to you. Hold it in your heart even as Jesus holds you in his heart.
When you worry, are afraid, are overwhelmed or tempted with distress, call on this peace immediately and count on it.
Become more familiar with it.
Put it into practice and watch what Jesus can do as you let go of circumstances and trust in the peace he gives.
You will find something out of this world, even now and especially forever.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I need your peace more than my idea of peace. I accept that there will be troubles and temptations in this world and I can’t avoid them. But I can overcome them by your peace, that is out of this world. I praise you, Jesus, and want more of you and your peace. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Test your heart when it comes to how you relax, what you find restful, and where you are in your “happy place.” Be honest and admit if you are thinking in any way, “I can be happy here without God.” Identify where this is true in your life and heart. Then give that to Jesus, and ask that he replaces it and fills you there with his peace. This is a process and takes time. Be patient, and remain faithful in prayer.