“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:2-6 ESV).
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27a ESV).
Last night I started watching the History Channel presentation of the end of the world and the tribulation. Now, I’m not going to get into a theological discussion on its accuracy because it was produced by the world, so a discussion is not necessary here. The point is – it described a future of anything but peace. Additionally, we all know that even today we do not have world peace. Never really have in my lifetime. I was born shortly after the end of a war and it wasn’t long until we were in another.
Most of us in our own lives have had times of turmoil and uncertainty as well as times of more peace. So, what does it really mean to have peace? Christ came as the Prince of Peace and left telling the disciples that He was leaving them His peace.
Part of our problem with peace is that we are looking for it in the world, in our relationships, in our families, in our jobs, and in ourselves. When our search for peace comes up empty we get all bothered and confused. We say things like… “I thought God gave peace, I expected as a Christian to have this nice peaceful life.”
Christ clearly tells us that the peace He gives is not in things, the world, circumstances, or relationships, it is only in resting and trusting in Him and His promises for the future and His control over the world. “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 ESV).
“What kind of peace does He give those who trust in Him? It is a quiet confidence that, since our sovereign, loving, all-powerful God is in control, we have nothing to fear. Jesus gives us peace with God through the forgiveness of sin. He provides peace of mind through an unhindered relationship with Him. He shows us how to have peace with man by teaching us how to love others. When He is in control, no situation, heartache, or sorrow can ever disturb that peace.”
It is an internal peace that God gives and we can have – rather than external. In this world, I wish I could tell you that a life of external peace was possible, but God only promises that to us in heaven. But, this is the year that you can begin to rest in the internal peace that only the God of peace offers. It is that peace that allows you live in this un-peaceful world.
“For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). When you don’t understand but you have peace, you won’t be confused. God’s peace is what puts your heart and mind at rest. And you have this peace because God is ministering to you through His presence. Throughout the entire Bible, God is identified as “the God of peace” (Romans 15:33, Hebrews 13:20, Philippians 4:9) and Jesus is called “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 6:9). He Himself is our peace (Ephesians 2:14).
May this be the peace you cling to.
Lynne Jahns is a Christian counselor and holds the honor of being the first Director of Barbara’s Place at America’s Keswick, a residential addiction recovery ministry for women. Lynne is married to Bill Jahns, who also serves on staff at America’s Keswick as the Director of Housekeeping. When not working and studying, Lynne loves to be outdoors and to travel. Family is very important to both Lynne and Bill and a lot of free time is spent with relatives and close family friends. Lynne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences from Cedarville University in Ohio, a Master of Arts degree from The College of New Jersey in Community Counseling, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Louisiana Baptist University.