"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful. 28 You have heard Me tell you, 'I am going away and I am coming to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. 30 I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over Me.” John 14:27-31
I feel like peace is a trait that many of us want and few know how to get. I am always telling myself that peace and harmony is something I strive for. I try to be calm, cool, and collected- until the very instant that something frazzles me and the whole peace talk goes out the door. I let the emotions get to me, the feeling of anger, the feeling of hurt, the feeling of sadness overtakes the idea of peace. These emotions sit in my heart and fester, and suddenly I begin to feel wronged, betrayed, or let down by somebody. I prepare myself for battle, because I think nobody should treat anybody that way, especially not me. They aren’t going to run ME over. Some weeks this scenario happens way too often. I start to realize that peace has not been found and I have made a mess with my words and angry actions that often takes days to clean up.
I have really been struggling with this whole peace thing. I want it, but don’t know how to embody it. I really don’t want to be run over. I want to prove my point, to show that I am not the kind of person that sits around- I am a “do-er”, I will fight fires, and restore the peace in my relationships, in my life, in my heart.
In John 14:27, we are given a gift from Jesus- the gift of Peace. Jesus is preparing his disciples for his death but he gives them a special “going away present”, one that the world will never offer, Peace. I think Jesus lived in the world long enough to know that we on our own could never find peace. We just aren’t peaceful people. It’s not that everybody is some sort of violent, chaos causing being- but I feel like the natural tendency of our human hearts isn’t to find peace in every situation. It took Jesus Christ to come in and show us what peace looks like on daily basis. When he was misunderstood, mocked, and beat down he said, “turn the other cheek”, “love your neighbor as yourself”, “father-forgive them.”
I think the biggest hindrance to me achieving peace- is that I want to promote my own agenda. I want to serve my purposes. And all of the things associated with my purpose, my goals, my life usually has ME at the center of them (go figure!) You see in the passage above Jesus gives peace- but he doesn’t give it to the disciple’s so they can promote their own agendas. He gives it and explains the big sacrifice he is going to make. He gives the gift of peace so that the disciples could handle Jesus dying a brutal death. That, if you ask me, is not about us at all. It’s about the God of the universe wanting his glory to be shown so that he may reign above all.
Jesus tells the disciples “Let your heart not be troubled or fearful.” I think this is where he tells us to not let the emotions get to us. Yes, we will all be wronged, run over, and beat down. Hopefully it is for the right reasons, like taking a stand for God and our values. The passage doesn’t say “your heart will never be troubled or fearful”. Jesus tell us to not let our hearts be controlled by emotions because He has provided us the peace that he will be with us always.
Some times we must keep quiet so that God can work in other people’s lives. When we are loud, kicking and screaming, it is really hard for people on every side of the situation to see God work. The person throwing the tantrum distracts everyone. We have to have absolute faith that “God works for the good for those who love him.” (Romans 8:28) It doesn’t say Lindsay works for the good for her friends and family. Alone, I am an un-peaceful person. It’s just the way I was made. God is the greatest love story for every person. So let somebody be nasty, hateful, rude, mean, mocking. It could be apart of their story. Our story, is that we were all at that same point too when we were unsaved. Now that we are saved, we should reflect the image of God.
Let our hearts not be troubled, so that God can provide peace. Let God provide peace so that we are all equipped to deal with the things that are too big for us to handle. Even though, not everything will go our way, not everybody will treat us right, and not every situation will make us look better this is all a part of God’s greater story. You know, the Easter story, the love story, the redemption story. When our perfect savior, died a brutal death and rose again so that we may live again. We don’t have to deal with the minutia, the small things. We just should accept the gift of peace that comes from Christ Jesus alone. So maybe that means biting my tongue, walking away, loving the mean and unlovable. Because Jesus Christ loved me when I wasn’t even worth loving. He died for me, when he knew all of the mistakes I would make. On top of it all, he provides peace along the way for each one of us. Peace be with you today!