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. KJV
Have you ever shouted out, “Just give me some peace and quiet!”? We probably all have at one time or another.
Have you ever noticed how those two words are used together, but are usually taken to mean the same thing?
The statement is usually made in the midst of some sort of chaos.
We all desire peace and quiet.
The two are not the same. You can have one without the other.
It is possible to be quiet, but not at peace.
I had a young girl in my last class who was a selective mute. It took me three months to get her just to nod her head in my direction when she came into my classroom. She was quiet, but she was definitely not at peace.
No smile. No words for anyone. Eyes constantly darting around. Fear written all over her young, 11-year-old face.
In another instance, one of the elders in my church a few years back tried to follow my example of going up into the mountains for three days of fasting and prayer. While there he had a nervous breakdown. He discovered he was not able to be alone with his thoughts. It was quiet for him. Too quiet. He had no peace.
It is also possible to have peace in the midst of the most terrible chaos.
And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. KJV
I’ve been in the North Atlantic in the midst of a vicious storm. Sleep was not possible until one simply passed out from sheer exhaustion.
But, Jesus slept.
Jesus said that He will give us peace, but it will not be in the same manner or type that the world gives. The only peace the world knows is the absence of noise, the absence of chaos, the absence of war.
He gives us the peace that “passes understanding” (Phil. 4:7). It is a peace that goes beyond our understanding. It definitely goes beyond the understanding of the world, or the natural man.
We can (and should) be at peace in the most trying circumstances. We are in an hour that is trying men’s souls. This is nothing compared to what shall be; but it is a time to learn how to maintain peace.
“How can you be so peaceful when the world is falling apart all around you?”
Because I know in whom I have believed.
Yes, the world appears to be falling apart all around us in this hour. But, Jesus said to not let your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid.
Because we are at peace with the world, with ourselves, and with God, because Jesus has given that to us.
Do you know that peace?
If you do not know what it is to have that kind of peace in this kind of turmoil, I encourage to e-mail me or one of the other writers who are discussing this chapter of John’s gospel.