By Marni Montanez
John 14:27 New King James Version
27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
“My” peace……”not as the world gives”. In order to understand this we have to find out what God’s peace is not. What is the world’s peace? The world’s peace is situational and conditional. This peace is dependent on what is going right in our lives. If our situation is hard we lose our peace. If something works out or we get our way then we find our peace. This kind of peace comes and goes with the wind.
The peace Jesus leaves us is dependent on the Lord and our relationship with Him. It is constant and becomes a part of who we are. It’s interesting to me that He talks about peace and then tacks on at the end “Let not your heart be troubled, neither be afraid”. Any situation can appear to be the size of a tidal wave bent on destruction in our lives. But God is saying in this verse, that we have a choice.
We can wait with hope upon the shores of trust or be taken out by the waves of worry and fear. This will undoubtedly rob us of our peace. The storm will always pass. Will it pass by as it takes a piece of us that shouldn’t have been taken? Or will it pass without causing devastating damage to us. When crossing the sea to the other side, Jesus slept on the boat in the midst of a storm, but He suffered no ill effects from the storm because He remained in the safety of His Father. Trust is safety.
The definition of storm is 1. (n.) storm - a disturbance of normal atmospheric conditions, manifesting itself by strong winds and often accompanied by rain, thunder and lightning, snow, hail, or sleet. Doesn’t this sound like the emotional process we go through during hard times? There is a change in our “normal” condition then an array of manifestations from all sides which reach within us and bring emotional upheaval.
It’s not about the storms we go through nor is it about having peace in the storm. It’s about having a sturdy peace in the One who is allowing the storm. We must set our face toward the strong winds that blow against us and allow it to do its work; Each time we do we gain ground. This is when we realize it is impossible for us to be overtaken by trials and tribulations unless we give up. If we look at our situation through the lens of an all-powerful, all loving God we see that any resolution will work out for our good; No matter what it is.
We are not trapped in or by our circumstances; we are encircled by the very God who created us and wants His best for us. As we learn to walk in peace we become aware of our ability to win the battles. Each battle we win gives us the fortitude to charge into the next battle believing and knowing God has our back. This is peace; this is victory in and of itself because we will find that ultimately the storms we face are not on the outside, but rage within us as we struggle to keep our control. Peace is letting go and letting God.
My challenge is for you to go into your next storm with an attitude that God is shielding you from any harm.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.