“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
Peace and trouble…
We pursue the prior, but often obtain the latter. This age old human dilemma is rooted in our working definition of peace and the tactics we use to experience it.
Peace is most commonly defined as a sense of calm, tranquility, quietness, contentment, and well-being that we feel when everything is going the way we like it in life. But this understanding of peace is impotent and incomplete. It can be temporarily produced by a pill, siesta, Christmas bonus, or exotic vacation.
Yet when the pill wears off;
when we are tired again;
when our bonus is spent;
or the last day on the beach is over;
this kind of peace eludes us once more.
But, Jesus offers a different kind of peace in John 16. We actually experience His peace in the midst of the worlds trouble.
God’s peace has nothing to do with people or circumstance. We cannot fashion it on a human level. Any attempts to manufacture it through cheap thrills, sedation, or the accolades of admirers, leaves us empty-handed. Worldly peace is temporary and fleeting. It is stolen in an instant by disease, failure, doubt, fear, guilt, shame, uncertainty of the future, or a challenge to our status and security. It’s vulnerable on all ends!
But, the peace that Jesus offers is resilient to the troubles and uncertainties of life. In fact, the peace that He offers us is resilent and assumes the trouble of this world. “In this world you will have trouble” sings like a sober promise tethered to peace.
Jesus offers a spiritually rooted peace; an attitude of the heart and mind that God places in us as we seek HIM as our all.
It’s an assurance that He lovingly has our life and circumstance in His hand, and that He has the ultimate control and victory.
As Christians we know our sins are forgiven, God is concerned for our well-being, and His kingdom is in us as we join Him in mission. Jesus’ peace is our possession and privilege by divine right as His adopted children.
In John 16 Jesus gives us the promise of peace and the promise of trouble.
Jesus offers His peace as a gift seated in Him. His peace not found in the natural things we pursue. Fame, fortune, and fitness inevitably leave us disappointed and empty. This does not mean that these things are wrong, but if we make them our pursuit and object of worship, we will end up gravely disappointed and true peace will escape our grasp.
II Thessalonians calls Jesus “the Lord of peace.” The Greek text uses a definite article before the word translated “peace,” to mean He literally is “the Lord of THE peace.” This is the divine kind of peace, and not the one the world offers.
“Now may the Lord of (THE) peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” -II Thessalonians 3:16
Paul prays that we experience this kind of peace. Its source is Jesus and Him alone. REAL PEACE IS JESUS!
As we say goodbye to 2021 and cross the threshold to 2022, take heart! He has overcome the world.
MIKE HARDER, CONCENTRIC PRESIDENT