Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 KJV
Notice in today’s verse Jesus didn’t tell us to be peaceful. He also did not ask us to find peace. Instead He comes saying, “I am giving you My peace.” So what kind of peace belongs to Jesus?
First it is a peace that has nothing at all to do with our circumstances. Jesus was telling His disciples about this peace just hours before His betrayal and arrest. How could Jesus have peace? It was because He knew where He came from and He knew where He was going. That is what He offers us.
Secondly Jesus gives us a peace differently than the world does. The world’s peace is like what I feel when I put the payment for our car in the mail. For a short moment I feel relief, but next month a new bill always shows up in my mailbox!
Last, Jesus giving us peace that doesn’t mean the battle is over, though some days I wish it were! “Perfect submission, all is at rest.” goes the second verse of Blessed Assurance. For me that offer of peace part but the submission part…well not so much. But all through our struggles Jesus calmly waits. He has a peace to give that will stand guard like a sentry over our hearts that once we fully trust Him in the driver’s seat of our life, He will take the wheel and leave us His peace that will carry us through any battle!
Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:405 NKJV
Often when David got in trouble, he went to the wilderness of Judea to hide. This Psalm is really his prayer and it had a lot of practical as well as spiritual meaning. In the desert finding the right way could mean the difference between life and death. That reminds me of one day when I was twelve. My friend and I decided to spend that Saturday afternoon exploring the woods behind his house. We loved the mystery of discovering whatever lay just over the next hill and watching squirrels playing high above us in the sugar maples.
Eventually we came out to the shore of a lake where we lingered for a while skipping stones over the water.
It was a great day until we tried finding our way home. Without fence lines, streams or other landmarks to follow we plodded aimlessly through dense underbrush without success. After an hour finally, we burst through some buses and found ourselves on the road about a mile from Steve’s house.
When life feels like wandering through a forest God knows the way. When we ask; “Show me your ways.” He answers; “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but by me!” John 14:6
But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. 1 John 2:11 NIV
Don’t you wish that following God’s guidance could be like entering an address into your GPS? Then knowing the right direction would be as simple as listening to the calm pleasant voice alerting us to turn at the next intersection.
But finding the right career path, soul-mate or next apartment is not about knowing which way to turn. God’s word is clear that what matters to Him is in how we treat the people around us. In fact He tells us that we are stumbling through life because we are mistreating, manipulating or using others for our own advantage in ways that God calls hate. When we treat anyone with hate then we walk straight out of the presence of God and down a dark path. It reminds me of when we were driving home from Northern Vermont. The GPS in our car kept saying, “Satellite transmission lost”. We kept going the wrong way and sometimes even in circles until we stopped at a gas station and asked directions. In the same way finding the right spiritual direction means following directions from someone who can show us the way. That someone is Jesus Christ, who loved us even when we were his enemies and showed us the way to His Home.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:11 KJV