Peace. This word has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s like a gentle whisper in my spirit.
Peace… Peace … 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
Yeah, ok great … but sometimes I need multiple reminders, so I look at different versions to see how a passage of scripture applies to my life.
“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.” – John 14:27
As my current roommate can attest to, I’m not the person usually filled with peace in a given situation. I’m usually the one screaming “WHYYYYYYYYYY” (among other things) at the top of my lungs. On the other hand, she’s normally the one saying, “No worries,” while pouring me a cup of tea to calm me down. So you can see why God would pair me with her during this season of my life. God is really that good. He sees what you need in a given situation and gives it to you — yes, the gift of peace is a real thing.
The truth is that we usually lack peace because we feel alone, abandoned, crushed and utterly in despair. But the Father who satisfies our desires with good things will not leave us this way! It’s a promise that we can stand on in times of trouble. In our culture when someone dies, we say “R.I.P.” or “Rest In Peace,” but the reality is that these people are more at peace than those they leave behind. The people that need the peace are the grieving family members and friends. Rightly so, they feel abandoned and bereft. The family of victims in Charleston, South Carolina probably felt this way. How could they not, they had just lost their loved ones to a senseless tragedy in the middle of church, a sacred place of trust and hope. Yet, with a heart of peace, they told the killer — “We forgive you.”
How do you get from a place of abandonment to a place of peace and wholeness? If you try to get there alone, it won’t happen. You can’t do it without the gift of the Holy Spirit. Anywhere you are going, you have to take this gift with you so that you can stay in peace and wholeness. After living in this season of uncertainty for the past few years, I am finally able to grasp what peace really is.
You see, anxiety, trouble and fear stems from a place of self-reliance and trust. If I have to fight my own battles, of course I’m going to be scared! I don’t know what lies around the corner – my opponent may be bigger, stronger and equipped with weapons of mass destruction.
When I allow the Holy Spirit to fight for me — WOW — I can’t lose!
Well isn’t that a super arrogant statement. “I can’t lose.” – What does that even mean? It means that God is faithful and He works everything together for our good. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! He works it all together for the good of those that please Him. It means that you’re not fighting alone and the one fighting for you has already WON. He is victorious and when you align yourself with him and his plan for your life, it makes you victorious.
God’s peace means accepting the victory even while the battle is still raging. There is nothing too hard for him. You’ve got to place your trust in Him and believe in faith for what you have asked for.
“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” – Mark 4:39-40
Faith precedes peace.