Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 14: 27

 

Jesus was speaking peace to His followers in the face of the greatest upheaval and turmoil that they would ever face. Yet, just as He was preparing them for the events of the next days with arrest on the doorstep and death in the wings, Jesus explains what it means to be at peace and to be peace-givers. First off, Jesus grants to them something that He already possesses and understands fully; that is, He blesses them with the deep calm and surety that comes from knowing full-well that God, the Father, is the one who is leading in all things. Jesus knows the Father and follows His will. So, Jesus is at peace.

 

This peace that Jesus granted to His followers is the same one that He brings to our hearts. This is a vital characteristic of God for followers of Christ to understand and accept as our own. Peace is gained in the same way as Jesus gained it and that He gave to His immediate followers. Peace comes through knowing God well, and it is entered into as we seek God’s will, follow His lead, and surrender ourselves to Him. Peace of mind, heart, and spirit comes to us as we recognize God’s loving sovereignty over our lives and accept that any outcome that the Father ordains is a good one for me.

 

This peace that Jesus grants to us and calls us to enter into is a good starting place, but Christ does not bless us so that we can live quiet, solitary lives. Christ calls His people into engagement with our world. He desires for us to be the ones who bring peace as our gift when we attend the crazy party that is daily life. As people who know God’s grace and live with its result in our hearts and minds, we can enter into the hard and troubling issues of our world with love extended to the angry and the distrustful, and we can bring the reality of Christ’s reconciliation and restoration to those we meet while never compromising on the truth of God’s righteousness.

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