“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
The peace, or shalom (Hebrew) of Jesus, is vital equipment for the Christian life. It is to act as a guard for us, and as a thermostat for others.
- A guard for us. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) The world only gives you peace when all your troubles are solved. The peace Jesus gives is in the midst of troubles. His peace guards us from leading anxious lives that end up burning us out. This is not merely a positive attitude that things will get better, but a tangible presence that acts as a guard against fear and anxiety. We must grow in His peace; we must break the habit of living anxious, fearful lives and learn to practice His presence in the midst of the storm. We put clothes on every morning; let’s not forget to put on the peace He has given us for a guard.
- A thermostat for others. When Jesus said, “My peace…”, I think the disciples remembered the power of His peace. When the storm was threatening their lives, Jesus stood and said, “Peace be still.” Then the peace that allowed Jesus to sleep in the storm acted like a thermostat until the entire environment was as at peace as He was. The disciples were living as thermometers (a thermometer only reflects what is in the environment), like the world does, a storm outside had led to a storm of anxiety and fear inside their hearts to the point that they thought they would perish. When they reached the other side they met a demoniac who was so restless, not even chains could hold him. Once again, the peace of Jesus acted like a thermostat until the man came into his right mind and came to share the very peace of God. Think of it: “My peace I give to you.”
To give peace, we must have peace. I don’t know your circumstances today, but I do know that God wants to give you peace in the midst of them. He then wants us to be a portal of His peace to those around us so that the very atmosphere is filled with the presence of redemption.