Again, thank you New Song Family for your prayers during this time of rest,
recovery and revelation. As I have gone deeper and deeper into times of meditation
on the word and listening to the voice of the Spirit, I have been gripped by a fresh
sense of our high and holy calling to get the gospel to everyone, everywhere. There
is not a moment to lose or an opportunity to be left unattended to. The need is
great—the time is now—and we are the people to meet the need and seize the hour.

I have also been meditating much on the subject of peace. And by peace, I mean the
peace of God. The peace that provides inner tranquility, undisturbed composure and
an overall sense of wellbeing regardless of what may be happening around us or to
us. I am referring to the peace of God in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit that calms our
fears, clears our minds and charts our course. Not a peace that produces passivity,
but a peace that produces serenity to trust God as we travel on in His purposes for
us.
In John 14:27, on the eve of Jesus’ suffering for the sins of man, He bequeaths His disciples this kind and quality of peace. He tells them that there is no need to be filled with anxiety and apprehension, and no need to be filled with depression and dread. He told them that at His departure, by the gift and grace of the Holy Spirit, He was leaving them with the same divine peace that they had seen in Him and through Him. This One who had spoken peace to a raging storm was promising them the same “storm stilling” peace for whatever might try to rage in their hearts and minds.

Peace I leave with you. It was common for Jews to greet each other and bid farewell to each other with words of peace. In Hebrew, the word was shalom—a sense of divine favor and full blessing borne out of one’s covenantal relationship with God. Jesus was in essence saying, “As I leave, I leave you with God’s full blessing and favor
resting and remaining on you.”

My peace I give to you. But then Jesus takes it to another level when He says, “My peace I give to you.” The definite article My is emphatic. It is Jesus telling His disciples that this peace is in Him, of Him and through Him. He was saying that the same peace He had through an unbroken fellowship with the Father was now theirs because He would open the way to God and provide the work of God by the Holy Spirit given to them. He was promising an unbroken, unhindered and undiluted flow of heaven’s peace to them and any who would look to the Father through the Son by the Spirit.

Not as the world gives do I give to you. Peace in the world has always had to do with adequate resources and favorable circumstances, while peace from God has always had to do with authentic relationships and favor with God. Jesus is assuring His disciples that the shifting winds and whims of the world would have no impact on the ongoing supply of divine peace. Jesus’ teaching always emphasized that when one was rightly related to God and others, they could be assured of the perpetual flow of God’s peace and prosperity.

Let not your heart be troubled. The word troubled has to do with deep distress in the mind and emotions that make one unstable in the face of difficulties and unable to face those difficulties with courage and clarity. Jesus told His disciples to not permit anxiety and apprehension to grip them, but instead to take authority over being troubled by trusting in God’s promises. Then their minds would be stable and clear and their hearts would be filled with a serene confidence.

Neither let it be afraid. The word here for afraid means a paralyzing fear that produces cowardice in the face of conflict. There were many things that the disciples didn’t understand at this time and many things that threatened to render them terrified and immobile. Jesus told them that the cure for this paralysis of fear was the peace that came through faith in Him and everything that He had taught them. They were to take authority over crippling fear and to crowd and cast it out by trust and confidence in Christ’s love and care for them.

My friends and family, the peace of Christ that was the promised possession of Christ’s original disciples is our promised possession as well. Let us not let our hearts be filled with tormenting anxiety and crippling fear. Let us take authority over our hearts and minds in and through Christ Jesus. Let us allow the peace of God to rule in our hearts and not the ever-shifting circumstances we see in the world around us. Let us every day remind ourselves, and one another, that God’s plans are redemptive and resilient—forever settled in heaven. Let us not be shaken, but settled and secure in Jesus Christ’s love and power. Let us be assured that the Prince of Peace ever lives, ever reigns and ever intercedes for our good. Let us be at peace, my friends, let us be at peace.