“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The biblical concept of peace is not the absence of trouble. Biblical peace is something that is not related to circumstances or situations. As believers, we may be experiencing problems and still experience the peace that Jesus promised.
The Apostle Paul proclaimed that he had learned the secret of being content, regardless of his circumstance: “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
He demonstrated that peace in the jail at Philippi, he sang and remained confident that God was being gracious to him. He told the Philippian jailer about God’s goodness and the jailer and his family were saved.
How can we experience the kind of peace that cannot be affected by trouble, danger, or sorrow? I find it somewhat ironic that one of the best descriptions of peace in scripture, John 14:27, was given by Jesus the night before He died on the Cross. Jesus knew what was coming next, He knew what He was about to face, yet He took the time to comfort His disciples with a message of peace.
The New Testament speaks of two kinds of peace: objective peace and subjective peace. Objective peace is about our relationship to God. Subjective peace is about our experiences in life.
When we come to Jesus, we enter a relationship with God, we enter a covenant of peace with God. This peace is objective it has nothing to do with how we feel or think. It is an accomplished peace: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:1-5)
When we place our trust in Christ, we are redeemed, we are declared righteous by faith. Our sins are forgiven and we have peace with God. That was God’s wonderful purpose in salvation.
Colossians 1:19-20a says, “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself;”
Because Christ died for our sins, we are reconciled with God, we have peace with God because of what Jesus has done. This is the heart of the message of the gospel.
But Jesus is not talking about objective peace in John 14:27. Jesus was saying that he was leaving us with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And comforting us with the knowledge that the peace He gave could not be taken from us by our circumstances. The peace Jesus speaks of here is a subjective, experiential peace. It’s tranquility of the soul, it’s settled, it’s positive, it’s a peace that affects the circumstances of life, but is not affected by the circumstances of life. It is a supernatural stream of peace. It’s permanent peace, it’s positive peace, it’s peace that will calm the heart in every situation, in every circumstance, and in every storm of life.
The peace of God is not based on circumstances. The Apostle Paul described it as a peace that surpasses comprehension. It is an immoveable peace that exists in all the problems and troubles we go through. This is divine peace, supernatural peace; it cannot be figured out on a human level.
In Philippians 4:7 the Apostle Paul uses the word “guard.” He says, “let the peace of God guard your heart.” The word translated “guard” is a word that is used in a military sense, it means to stand at a post and guard against the aggression of an enemy. When the peace of God is on guard, the Christian is within an impregnable fortress. The name of the fortress is Jesus, and the guard is peace.
The peace of God stands guard and keeps worry from corroding our hearts, and the whispers of the devil from tearing up our minds. This is the kind of peace we have, a peace that forgives our past, a peace that fortifies our present, and a peace will flourish us with a guaranteed promise for our future.
Jesus is the One who gives peace. The Supernatural peace of Jesus is His gift to us. The same deep peace that stilled His heart amid mockers, haters, murderers, traitors, and amid incomprehensible persecution, Jesus was calm and unfaltering; He was a rock.
When Jesus appeared before Pilate, He was so calm, so serene, so controlled, so at peace, that Pilate became greatly disturbed. He was furious that Jesus was standing before him fearless; Pilate said, “Why don’t you talk to me? Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?” (John 19:10).
In perfect peace Jesus replied, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above.” (John 19:11).
That’s the kind of peace the Holy Spirit gives to us. Undistracted, fearlessness, and unwavering trust. Our source of peace is Jesus. He provides us with the same serenity in danger, the same calm in trouble, and the same freedom from anxiety.
Jesus says, “the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.”
His peace is not like the peace the world offers. Jesus has given us real peace through the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost in our lives. It has been made available to all who repent and are baptized in Jesus’ name. It is here, it is ours, it is free, it is a gift, but we must take hold of it.
The peace Jesus offers, the gift, must be received and applied in our lives. When we receive the promise of the Holy Ghost, we will have calm, untroubled hearts, regardless of the circumstances. I leave you with the words of an old hymn that says it far better than I ever could:
Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight
Rolls a melody sweeter than psalm;
In celestial-like strains it unceasingly falls
O’er my soul like an infinite calm.
Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!
What a treasure I have in this wonderful peace,
Buried deep in the heart of my soul,
So secure that no power can mine it away,
While the years of eternity roll!
I am resting tonight in this wonderful peace,
Resting sweetly in Jesus’ control;
For I’m kept from all danger by night and by day,
And His glory is flooding my soul!
And I think when I rise to that city of peace,
Where the Author of peace I shall see,
That one strain of the song which the ransomed will sing
In that heavenly kingdom will be:
Ah soul, are you here without comfort and rest,
Marching down the rough pathway of time?
Make Jesus your friend ere the shadows grow dark;
Oh, accept this sweet peace so sublime!