Thursday, March 3, 2011

How Do We Get Peace?

Do you want peace?

Of course you do. Everyone wants peace. It's not just a great thing, it's one of the "fruit of the Spirit" — a mark of maturity and authenticity in a Christian's life.

So why do so few of us have it? We simply don't know how to get it.

John 14-16 is a very interesting passage full of all kinds of important ideas. It also contains an unusual statement by Jesus.

He starts by telling them some hard things:
"In my Father’s house are many rooms. ... I am going there to prepare a place for you.

"Before long, the world will not see me anymore...

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.... If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.

"[A] time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.

"In a little while you will see me no more... I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices."
Then Jesus makes this surprising statement:
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace."
Jesus is leaving them, and they will be mistreated and will mourn while the world celebrates. This is supposed to bring them peace? How does that work?

I think this statement cracks the code: "I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you."

Mourning and being persecuted will not bring them peace. Knowing that they're going to mourn and be persecuted will not bring them peace.

Knowing that Jesus knows what's going to happen, has a plan, and has it all under control will bring them peace.

And it will for you, too. A big God makes it easier to ride out the trials of life.

So "in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord." "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

1 comment:

JT said...

I don't know if I am an average person. I like to think that I am. Peace was not easy to find when I was a young man. Sometimes I had it and lost it before I had time to enjoy it. Now that I am older ( past 60 ) I find that peace lasts for longer periods of time. Maybe it caught up with me and I'm too old to get away. May God Bless you.