Google defines the word peace as the “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.” If you were to ask a random person, or even a random follower of Jesus what they think defines the word peace, then you would probably receive a very similar statement to the one above. It seems like all we really want in life is the peace of mind where we are free from worries, anxieties, and anything that disturbs our well-being. However, what if we have misinterpreted what the word peace really means in light of Jesus? What if peace doesn’t come because of something we feel, but because of Someone we know?
John 16:33 says, “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.” Jesus tells us that we will have trouble, and we know very well that this is true. Sickness, toxic relationships, and circumstances we can’t control are just a small sample size of the numerous issues we all face throughout our day to day lives. Jesus never promised us a life without issues, pain, and suffering. In fact, according to the verse above, he promises us quite the opposite. So, is it actually possible to sustain a worldly version of peace? Are we really able to experience a self-sufficient life where we call the shots and everything else magically falls into place? Doesn’t it seem like as soon as one problem is solved another one pops up?
The issue with striving for worldly peace is that it will never come if we rely solely on our own feelings, emotions, or decisions. Instead, true peace is found in a personal and caring God. It is found in suffering, joy, and both good times and bad. Peace is not achieved because we feel like we are in control over our circumstances, but because we know HE is in control. John Ortberg, pastor at Menlo Church in California, says this, “Peace doesn’t come from finding a lake with no storms. It comes from having Jesus in the boat.” Peace in our lives isn’t a freedom from the “storms” of our life, but instead is living with the faith and confidence that Jesus is right beside us steering the ship. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” In our own imperfection, the peace that Jesus talks about requires a hope that simply isn’t possible without the power of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Peace isn’t a feeling, it is a Person and when we live in that truth the storms of life will shrink in comparison to the presence of our very big God.