“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
Peace is something we all crave and desperately want. This is especially true for a time like this with chaos and uncertainty in our world. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly, the Stockmarket is dropping, schools are closed, sports have been postponed and even canceled, and so much more. With all that is going on, fear seems to be hitting on all sides.
In the verse above, Jesus promises His disciples, and us, peace. The context is that Jesus is days away from the cross and weeks away from returning to the Father. The disciples’ world is about to turn upside down. Yet, He promises peace. He gives it to them, and to us. We don’t have to work for it nor do we deserve it.
Notice that this peace is not like that which the world gives. The world offers peace that ultimately fades away. Worldly peace comes from money, people, and things – all of which will pass away (Matthew 6:19).
But the peace Jesus offers is radically different. Right before this verse Jesus says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (v. 26). Brothers and sisters, peace is not simply a feeling. No, peace is a Person: the Triune God of the universe. If your faith is in Christ, you have been united to Christ and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. This is the peace that Jesus offers: Himself. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
As a result of this peace, we can obey Jesus’ command to not let our hearts do be troubled and not let them be afraid.
Remember, you cannot do this on your own. You need the Lord’s help.
We all turn to something or someone when life gets hard. To what or to whom are you going to turn? I pray that we all turn to the Lord Jesus and find in him the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:4). In this time of uncertainty, we must dare to believe that God is still seated on the throne and in control. He is not surprised by this. Remember Psalm 46 that Barry has referenced multiple times: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…”
The Heidelberg Catechism, written in 1563, says our only comfort in life and in death is, “That I am not my own, but belong — body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.”
Prayer – “Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty. Thank you for giving me peace in the form of your Son Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Help me to run to you and not away from you in the midst of this pandemic. Remind me that you are in control and that peace is only found in you. Help me to trust you even when things don’t make sense. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
This devotional has been written by the pastors and staff of First ARP Church in Rock Hill, SC.