By: Ysrael De la Cruz
There is so much uncertainty and fear in the hearts of many due to what is going on in the world right now. Many are praying for peace in the world because of the chaos and trying times we have been living in the last three years.
For some people, they will have peace when the war between Russia and Ukraine ends; when they hear good news regarding the virus, when the economic gets better and so forth. For many, peace is circumstantial, (it depends on the circumstance or situation you experience) If there is no conflict, I will have peace; if people would like me, if there is no virus threatening my health, when I pay my credit card debt then I will be at peace. This peace is circumstantial. This is how the dictionary defines peace.
Webster’s dictionary defines peace as a state in which there is no war or fighting. It is freedom from civil disturbance; a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom.
I want to tell you about a peace that does not depend on the circumstance or situation you may experience. What about a peace amid trials and conflicts? This is the peace that Jesus is offering to you and me in his word.
Jesus had some devastating news for his apostles. He told them he was leaving, but with his leaving, he would be sending the Holy Spirit to them. (John 14) This was not part of the agenda the apostles had for Jesus their Messiah. This went against their expectations. When Jesus told the disciples that he was going away, they were very discouraged, and he told them not to be discouraged but to trust him. John 14:26-27 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 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. NIV
Jesus’ peace is different from the peace you could find in the world. The world’s peace is circumstantial. Jesus’ peace is not. Jesus promised peace to his people and told them not to worry or be afraid. This is right before he informed them about the struggles, they will have for being his disciples; Jesus told them how they will be hated by the world and persecuted. He said that they would be scattered each to his own home. This doesn’t sound very much like peace. Does it? Sounds more like hardships and adversity that will come to them after Jesus left.
Then we read on John 16:33 the reason why Jesus spoke to them what we read in chapter 14 , 15 and 16 of John. Verse 33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. Trouble is coming, but in me you can have peace. The idea of peace in Hebrew (shalom) and Greek is the idea of harmony, completeness, wholeness. The state of untroubled tranquility, wholeness, or tranquility in the soul that is unaffected by the outward circumstances or pressures of life.
This peace is not the absence of conflict or war; it is tranquility or serenity during the conflict.
Tony Evans puts it this way: “Peace is where God’s calm and God’s tranquility overrule your concerns.”
Horatio Spafford experienced this peace when he went back to the place where he had lost his family and could say. It is well with my soul.
When everyone in the Israelite camp trembled at the taunting voice of Goliath, David was calm and ready to face the challenge.
Christ’s peace is not based on the circumstances you may encounter. He said you can have peace in the middle of the struggle or conflict. You can be calm or find this tranquility in him.
It’s not circumstantial; Christ’s peace is a product of our identity in him and our relationship with him.
“I have told you these things, SO THAT IN ME you may have peace. This type of tranquility or serenity is only found in a relationship with Jesus. In him.
The Bible has a lot to say regarding the benefits you have for having a relationship with Christ. Or being in Christ.
-New Creation 2 Cor.5:17 a new creation of God.
-We are declared righteous before God. 2 Cor.5:21
-No judgment for those who are in Christ. Rom.8:1
-heirs of the promises. Gal.3:29
-Peace in Christ. John 16:33
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. Trouble is coming but take heart! (take courage)! I have overcome the world.
The victorious Christ is offering peace; our peace is based on his victory.
Even though trouble comes, Jesus said be brave, don’t lose heart. “I have overcome the world.” He is greater than the world and anything we can possible face in the world; in Jesus we can have unshakeable peace.
Christ is offering this peace to everyone; this peace is only found in a relationship with him. In Him. You don’t have to wait for your situation to change, Jesus gives you peace amid the situation. It’s only through Jesus that you can be calm when your world falls apart. Trouble is here but be courageous because Jesus overcame the world and he is offering you unshakable peace; a peace that can only be found in a relationship with him.
It is his peace that keeps you from being anxious in life. Php.4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. NIV
Trouble is here but it doesn’t matter because in Jesus we have unshakable