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)
This world abounds with merchants selling their various snake oils of peace. From acupuncture to yoga, from Buddha to Dr. Phil, many different methods promise the hoped-for peace of mind. Some look to the bottle, some look to the bed, some to the wallet, but what if the peace we actually long for does not belong to this world at all? What if peace isn’t something we channel from within ourselves, or can discover somewhere under the sun, but rather is something we find from beyond the sun?
Here is the secret to peace in this world of brokenness and anxiety: The peace we long for must be given to us by God. It is his peace. And it is a peace unlike the world gives. On the night of Jesus’s betrayal and arrest, when the disciples' world as they knew it was about to fall, he told them: “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).
Jesus leaves them peace, and not just any peace, his. He closes the discourse in a similar fashion: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The peace we all long for — a peace perched above the frenzy of this world — is a peace Jesus leaves us, a peace we have in him, a peace that was first his before it is ours.
The People of Peace
The people of Christ are inheritors of otherworldly peace. Reader, do you know this peace of Christ? Do you know what it is to have a storm-tossed mind that threatens to make shipwreck of your contentment, when Jesus meets you in that place through his Spirit and his word and says in essence, “Be still” — and all calms. The circumstances may not have changed, but the person going through the circumstance has. Jesus has allowed you to taste his otherworldly stillness amid the chaos as you cling to his precious and very great promises, as you cling to him and your new life in him.
This is “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, [which] will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). A sentinel that keeps watch and protects the subterranean peace of every child of God.
And this peace is not just a peace that keeps us as individuals, but a peace that we extend to and receive from other Christians. A peace that is to sit enthroned in all of our hard, troubled, fallen relationships with each other: “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
He Is Our Peace
The peace offered to all the followers of Christ is divine peace. Not as the world gives does Jesus give. God-peace is what you need.
God-peace does not crumble, does not shift, does not blow away, does not fail. God-peace is the peace of a King who sits in the heavens, ruling above the galaxies in heaven without fret and without fear. This unbreakable peace is the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding because it surpasses this world. An alien peace, and otherworldly peace, God’s peace, which sets troops around our hearts and minds, protecting them against terror and dread.
God’s shalom is given to us in Christ. And in another sense, Christ himself is our peace (Colossians 2:14). So let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts until you see him face to face (Colossians 3:15).