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. – Jn. 14:27 NIV
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Jesus Christ was making what seemed like a valedictory statement to his disciples informing them of his impending departure and the need for them not to be troubled. He told them of his intention to go and prepare a place for them and he will come back for them when he is done Jn. 14:1-5. Meanwhile, they needed not to worry about his departure, as in his name, they would have anything that they wanted, because of his relationship with his father and their own relationship with him – Jn. 14:6-13. He also added that they will not lack comfort as he was going to send them the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:15-20) but advised they adhere to his commandments. In summary, they were to remain in his commandments as in doing that, they will be assured of comfort – Jn. 14:21-26.
Probably due to what he was observing in their reaction, he assured them that they had no reason to be troubled as he was leaving his peace with them – Jn. 14:27. This is captured in the scripture for today’s devotion. In that scripture, he emphasised the following:
1. He was giving them his peace.
2. He was not giving it the way the world gives.
3. With this peace, they had no reason to be troubled.
4. They also had no reason to be afraid because of the peace he was leaving with them.
Although there is much to further discuss in the scripture, it is important for one to have a full understanding of what peace is. Peace is a state of freedom from disturbance resulting in tranquility. With Christ, this peace will still exist, even in the face of reasons for the opposite.
In the reference scripture for today, Jesus said he was giving his peace. That implies that he has peace since one cannot give what one does not possess. The bible even before Jesus was born described him as the Prince of peace – Is. 9:6. If he is a Prince, then his father must be a king which really, is the situation. The Almighty God, who remains the father of all, is the King of Peace, and he has handed all things to the son including Peace – Matt. 11:27. It confirms the fact that he actually has peace to give and whoever has accepted him as Lord and savior should also have everything that he has given or represents. So why do Christians still live a life devoid of peace? It is because rather than see the person that we have accepted, we prefer to see the challenge that Satan has placed before us. That was the case with the Apostle who was able to do the unusual until he started seeing the storm rather than looking at Jesus – Matt. 8:23-27. The Psalmist asserts that even if he is to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, he will still have nothing to fear because he knows that the King of Peace is with him (Ps. 23:4), just as he also admits that a thousand and tens of thousands may fall around him but they will not get to him – Ps. 91:7. This confidence in the person he believes in makes him have peace in the midst of terror and maybe danger. Jesus Christ himself demonstrated the kind of peace that he leaves with us when he was sleeping on a cushion in the stern of the ship, the most affected part of a ship in a storm – Mk. 4:35-41. This is because he is aware that he has the ultimate protection with him. The Christian will only experience the Peace of God that surpasses the understanding of men, if he/she learns to focus on Jesus in the midst of storms of life – Phil. 4:7. All you need to be sure of, is that you have truly and sincerely accepted him as your Lord and savior.
Jesus noted that he was not giving his peace the way the world gives. The Bible says the gift of God is permanent and is irrevocable – Rom. 11:29. Once he gives the peace, he does not take it back at the slightest sign of transgressions on the part of the beneficiary of the peace, unlike human beings who will withdraw their help at the slightest provocation. The Bible says he remains faithful even when we are not faithful because He cannot deny Himself – 2Tim. 2:13. As long as we do not deny his lordship over our lives, he does not stop showing us his love – Ps. 103:8-11. So even when we feel we are unworthy, he still ensures that his gift of peace for us remains. Do not let Satan deceive you that you lost His gift of peace because of your transgressions because he is more merciful than that.
With these assurances, the Christian should have no reason to express fear because their keeper does not slumber nor sleep – Ps. 121:5-8. Just as he said in that same book of Jn. 14:6-13 , all the Christian needs to do in times of fear or discomfort is to call on him and ask anything of the father in his name. That promise remains for as long as they remain in him and he in them and same applies to Christians today.
He consequently, advises that they have no reason to fear. The Christian needs to always remember that, as long as the decision to remain with the Almighty God and his Christ as Lord and saviour subsists, he/she will always remain a target for Satan because, all Satan will want to achieve is for the Christian to disappoint the Almighty God by denying Him in times of trouble. God expects that the Christian will retain his/her trust in His saving ability, and that should be the position of the Christian. No matter the situation, avoid fear and remain in his peace, not because of what you can do but because of what God will do. Jesus Christ himself prepared us for those times of fear but assured us that we have nothing to fear as he already overcame on our behalf – Jn. 16:33.
There may be human reasons surrounding the Christian, sufficient to trigger fear, but the word of the Lord is bigger than every fear and his promise surpasses all of those fears. Remain in him and trust in him that no situation is bigger than Him so you can abide in His peace and you will be an overcomer. May his peace overcome all our fears in Jesus name. Amen.