There have been many goodbyes in my life—people coming and going. Some have been a mere hug, goodbye, good luck to you. Others elicited more of an emotional response because the bond was stronger. There was, what I’m guessing might have been frustrating for Jesus, a long goodbye during His last night on earth before the Cross. He’s explaining many of the things to come, as His friends bombard Him with questions, many of which He’d already answered. Noticing their distress, He encourages them to keep trusting in God as they had previously.
“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).
Christ obviously knew that tough times were on the way: persecution, dissension, taunting, arrests, etc. Fast forward to our lives, we undergo pressures daily, sometimes feeling overwhelmed. Bills, family problems, health, broken relationships, spiritual condition, past mistakes, sins, emotional scars…LIFE. They are things that threaten our stability and ability. But in the storms of our lives, Christ says, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39). God doesn’t want us to be paralyzed by earthly distractions. He wants us whole physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Out of this world
Other versions state, “My peace I give you.” We’re incapable of grasping this gift that God gives us. Something so wonderful and amazing that it trumps everything we could ever face and experience. His peace overcomes: sorrow, grief, guilt, self-condemnation, insecurity, worry, pain, failures, shame, humiliation… Wow. Check this verse out: “And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). His peace is so astounding that it brings us calmness of heart, allowing us to focus on God Himself. When we focus on Him, our problems shrink. This isn’t escaping reality…it’s embracing it! Try this also…it’s not just peace that He offers. It’s His peace. I’m pretty sure that the God of all creation doesn’t fret or suffer from panic attacks and anxiety disorder.
Give up worldly reactions
“…When I grew up, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11). God expects us to mature, not reacting the way we used to but responding armed with His Grace. It’s time to “Leave behind the nail-biting, drinking, smoking, withdrawing, and other besetting habits that we use to cope. No need to cope. Just receive what He’s already made available!
We need to receive this gift
Just as with any gift, we have to receive it. There are things we receive that we’re not gung ho about and they end up in a closet. We cannot shelve God’s peace! It’s absolutely vital to our surviving and thriving. Let us receive His peace and turn up our praises, thanking Christ for establishing His Lordship in our hearts and minds.
It’s there for the taking. Why would we ignore it? Here’s Philippians 4:7 in the Message: “Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Remember, He is the Prince of Peace.