If you’re a student of the Bible, I’m sure you’ve noticed that God’s perspective is often given in the form of comparison and contrast. For example, He often contrasted the rich and the poor, the wise and foolish, darkness and light, and concerning our topic, the peace that comes from God as opposed to the peace found in this world. Jesus said, “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives …” (John 14:27).
Clearly, the Master stated that the peace He gave His followers was different from the peace they could find in the world. When Jesus referred to “the world,” He was speaking of the society and culture in which we humans live.
Have you ever been on a troubled sea? I’ve experienced storms at sea on several occasions, and frankly, I’ve no desire to repeat the experience! I was in Groton, CT., in the mid 80’s stationed on the USS Providence (SSN-719). It was a fast attack submarine. We put to sea just as the hurricane was coming in. We had to ride on the surface for nearly two hours while we were tossed around like a toothpick. Even as we dove to periscope depth, the swells sucked us out of the water, and we slammed back into the ocean much like a belly flop. It was terrifying. The winds swept across the sea at 40, 60, 100 miles an hour, with blowing rain, lightning, thunder, and an overpowering darkness on the surface. Waves can rose to 20, 30, even 50 feet high. A ship in such a storm can be tossed about like a toy boat. It’s easy for an oceangoing craft to be lost in such storms. But underneath the surface, just 100 feet down, there’s no storm. All is perfectly quiet. No sound. No tumult. Not even a ripple of turmoil.
This remarkable fact makes me think of God’s peace. It gives me an inkling of what our Lord must’ve been talking about when He promised His disciples His peace. He told them because they were His followers, they’d have trouble in this world. In fact, He claimed that some of them would be persecuted because they were His disciples. But despite this, He promised He’d never leave those who followed Him, and His constant presence would be the means whereby they could experience His peace.
When fears, anxieties, and troubles arise in your life, look for the following signs of God’s peace as it …
· Transcends circumstances. Often, peace is more readily seen and felt in the midst of trial and trouble. But regardless of what you’re experiencing, know this: God is your peace. Put your faith in Him.
· Surpasses understanding. The peace of God is not something we can always figure out. But it’s operative and available to us—far beyond our ability to understand it.
· Extends to all His followers. God’s peace is extended to every person who accepts Jesus as their Savior, turns from their sin, and pursues a life in obedience to the guidance of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.
· Is an abiding state of being. In the difficult circumstances of life, the Holy Spirit is present to help. Peace—deep, genuine, God-given peace—can be the “norm” in which you live day to day.
As you move forward in the journey of life, trust and believe that God’s desire for you is to feel an abiding peace at all times—a peace that includes joy and a feeling of purpose in every area of your life.