“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
I have never met anyone who did not want peace. No one wakes up and says to themselves, “I hope today is awful and stressful. I hope that today gives me anxiety and the whole day starts unraveling.” Nobody thinks like that.
The problem, rather, is that people look for peace in the wrong places. We think that being in the right relationship will bring us peace. We think that advancing in our careers will bring us peace. We think that making more money will bring us peace. We think that drowning our problems with booze will bring us peace. We think that sex will bring us peace. Generally speaking, most people are grappling for peace in the pursuit of pleasure or power. A lot of times, people try to attain pleasure through escaping life; and people try to attain power by controlling life.
The only true, lasting peace, however, comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. As Isaiah 9:6 says, the coming savior (Jesus) will be the “Prince of Peace.” Jesus came to this earth so that we could have peace. He wants us to be in harmony with God. To know who God is. And to know who we are in Him. In a relationship with Jesus, we are encouraged to surrender to God our problems and commit our lives to loving and serving others, where true fulfillment is found.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:16, Paul writes: “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” What this is saying is that, through Christ, we have peace in all times. Not just the great times. Not just the times that are filled with happiness. Not just the times when you are doing well financially. In all times. The hardships. The challenges. The times of unknowing. The times when you feel like you’re wandering through the desert. Peace is always in your midst because Jesus says that he will never leave you, nor forsake you. In John 14, Jesus tells his disciples, “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.”
When we lean into the peace of Christ, it has the power to free us from the exhausting pursuit of pleasure and of power. It allows us to rest and to be present.
- What pleasure do you tend to chase? What power do you tend to chase?
- In the past, when you have attained what you were chasing, did it bring you long-lasting peace? Why or why not?
- How can you receive the peace of Christ today? What are the things in your life that you are trying to control that you can surrender? Where can you “let go and let God”?