January 23 I Monday
“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.” —John 16:33
In a world of chaos, confusion and uncertainty, many of us will find much comfort in these words of Jesus: “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). Jesus speaks of a peace that He gives us, yet, have we considered the context for which this text was spoken?
It was during a time when the disciples were feeling troubled, anxious and unsettled because their lives were about to be turned upside down as Jesus revealed to them that He was going away. Jesus spoke these words about peace to calm their anxious hearts. But what we will find amazing is that Jesus spoke these words knowing that within a few hours, He was going to be hanging from a cross, not because of His sins but because of ours. It was in the midst of this that Jesus spoke about the peace He has.
Many people in our world today are looking for peace, but the problem is the peace that the world gives is fleeting, temporary and insecure. Hence, when Jesus tells us, “My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives,” He is making reference to the fleeting nature of peace that we sometimes latch onto, such as the peace of financial security. Some of us may even place our peace in substances that can satiate our desires, numb us for a while, but the effects will wear off and the gnawing anxiousness will come back worse than ever. If we place our trust and our hope in the world’s peace, it can leave us feeling anxious and fearful.
This is why the words of Jesus are so powerful, because He was describing a whole different type of peace. It is a peace that drives out fear because the peace that Jesus spoke of is a calmness and confidence with God. The peace that Jesus described to His disciples on the night He was betrayed and to be crucified is the very same peace He offers us today.
The peace of Christ is the antidote to panic. The words of Jesus remind us that even in the midst of suffering, we can rest assured in the calmness and confidence that Christ provides. Although this is different for every one of us and things seem to be changing day by day, the peace we have is unchanging, in that Christ is with us in the midst of all life circumstances.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for the peace that You give. Even in the midst of anxiety and uncertainty, I am grateful that I can find calmness and confidence in You. Praise You!