How desperately we need peace today. These words were spoken by Jesus in the fourteenth chapter of John’s Gospel. They were words of comfort and assurance to His most devoted followers. He would be the source of their peace. “In me, ye might have peace.” And what is the source of our peace? Where can we look for comfort and encouragement? Where can we find rest for our weary and worrisome souls? Jesus said, “In me, ye might have peace.”
What a troublesome time we live in. The world is so unsettled. Wars and rumors of wars, along with the threat of terrorist attacks on our people abroad and at home are a cause of trepidation. There is great economic uncertainty due to unemployment, the exploding deficits and national debt, and the looming fiscal cliff. Our community has recently felt the hurt of the devastating loss of young lives. People that we love dearly have lost loved ones in the past year and felt a loneliness they had never known. And then, how can we describe the shock and sadness over the horrific events in Connecticut a week ago?
Where can we look for peace? Jesus told His disciples that peace could be found in Him. The occasion when Jesus gave them this promise is worth mentioning. Christ’s death on the cross would occur in a matter of hours. How could the disciples prepare for what was about to happen? They had experienced persecution and rejection and had seen their Savior attacked verbally, but nothing to compare with what lie ahead. Jesus was not only their Savior; He was their best Friend, their Comforter and Counselor, their King, and the Lord and Master of their lives. They had left all to follow Him, and had suffered great personal sacrifice to serve Him. And now, He would be cruelly mocked, misrepresented, publicly shamed, beaten beyond recognition, and executed by crucifixion. How could they endure such disappointment, heartache, and despair? What would they do with the emptiness His absence would create?
“In me, ye might have peace.” He promised that He would be the source of their peace. In another place in John’s Gospel, Jesus further described this peace. “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” (John 14:27). This peace that Jesus provided was “not as the world giveth.” It was not like the natural peace that is greatly limited and dependent on favorable circumstances. As a matter of fact, Jesus said “my peace I give unto you.” The peace He was gifting was His very own peace, the kind of peace that Jesus Himself exhibited and that governed His life.
How desperately we need this peace in our hearts, our homes, our relationships, our community, and our world. We cannot depend on our world alone to provide the kind of peace we need. Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus came to bring peace to our lives. When Isaiah prophesied of the coming of Christ, he called Him the “The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). He died on the cross that we might have forgiveness and peace with God. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:1). And as we prayerfully rely on Him, He says, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
“In me, ye might have peace.” What a profound and powerfully comforting promise this is, a promise of peace that comes from God Himself. We cannot isolate ourselves from conflict, disappointment, anguish, or hurt. We cannot isolate ourselves so that pain will never touch our lives. But there is Someone who has promised to be our Peace. During this special season of the year, may we look to Christ as the source of our peace, and may His peace rule in our hearts.