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
At this time of year, life can be hectic. The holidays ramp up and simultaneously our weariness from the year catches up to us. Whether it is hosting family, working in a resort during the holidays, wrapping up work for the year or trying to make vacation plans, it can be overwhelming. All at a time where we are meant to be focused on Jesus.
You might be thinking: “I just need some peace and quiet,” or “I want to get out for a hike/shred on my own to find some peace,” or “My new headphones have noise-cancelling capabilities, now I can get moments of peace, ” or even, “A holiday far away is my idea of peaceful.”
The problem with this kind of peace is that you always have to come back to the reality that you were in before. The reality of busyness or stress doesn’t dissipate because you went looking for peace and quiet. You have just escaped for a day, an hour or a song. The world will convince you that it’s peace but it’s really escapism and sadly it’s short-lived.
Hang on, isn’t Jesus called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)? Isn’t Peace listed as one of the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? Is this “escapism” peace what he claims to give us? Or is it possibly different …. And better?
As Jesus spends his last meal with his disciples, he tells them what they can expect as his followers after he has gone. In John 14 he gives insight into the type of peace He gives:
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 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 14:25-27, emphasis mine.
Thanks to the Holy Spirit, Jesus has left his peace with us as a gift. It’s different to what the world gives us – we don’t have to search for his peace on a quiet mountain or in a quiet room.* He promises his peace will be with us always. Which means you can have his peace in the midst of chaos, a busy house or a stressful work schedule. With the Holy Spirit living in you, his peace is available for you right now.
Jesus finishes his thought on peace in John 16:33: “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.” This is the least favourite promise of Jesus. He tells believers we will have trouble. But he doesn’t leave us to face this trouble alone. He prefaces this promise with the assurance that a relationship with Him enables peace to be a permanent fixture in our lives regardless of troubles.
So take heart, friends. We have access to Jesus’ peace in the midst of our current moment no matter how chaotic or overwhelming. We don’t have to go searching for peace or put on headphones! Through the Holy Spirit, peace is available to us now – what an awesome gift!
*Finding space and time for solitude and reflection is something we should definitely do to create space to grow in our relationship with God. But we don’t have to be void of peace until we can find such a time.
- Have you ever experienced Jesus’ peace in an unexpected way or place?
- What is feeling overwhelming or stressful today? Where would you like to see Jesus’ peace enter your life?
- Read Philippians 4:6-7 – how does prayer and praise help bring peace into your life?
- What can you do this week so that you have Jesus’ peace that “surpasses understanding” in the midst of your circumstances?
By Anna Schrafft| Sydney, Australia