John 14:15-31; 2 Chronicles 21:2-22:12; Psalm 79
I don’t think any quality is as desired, misunderstood, or misattributed as “peace.” We are called to “give peace a chance,” and “let there be peace on earth.” We are reminded that “peace comes through victory” or is strength enough to ensure peace? We have seen peace treaties that appear to lead the way to war and peace agreements that cause the participants to stare daggers at each other.
Maybe Jesus and His disciples had a different understanding of peace, given their life during the Peace of Rome, but even then Jesus made a contrast between earthly peace and heavenly peace. Earthly peace is proclaimed when there are no active hostile actions taking place. The Peace of Rome may have meant that no one was at war with Rome, because of their might, but Rome enforced the peace through great oppression of their subjects. Jesus gave heavenly peace: “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.” (John 14:27)
The peace Jesus gives comes from a relationship with God. It is a peace that comes from the strength of our relationship with Him. It is knowing that no matter what the circumstances may be, our God is with us to support and encourage us. It is the peace that those who suffered for their faith in the early days of the church experienced as they faced persecution and death. It is the peace that recently martyred Christians experienced as they proclaimed the name of Jesus before their death. Our hope, our strength, our peace lies in the sure and certain knowledge that God lives in us and guides us each and every day.
Lord, I thank You for the peace that I experience because of my relationship with You. I look at a world where emotions are simmering and problems are waiting under the surface to explode, and I pray for peace – not the absence of conflict that the world sees, but the presence of Your spirit in the life of each and every person alive. Lord, it seems like too much to ask, but You are a God of miracles – and so I pray for this peace.