Peace would be easy if we weren’t on earth. It’s the stuff that happens on earth that destroys our peace. You are settled in for a “long winter’s nap” and at 2:00 am the phone rings. There goes peace. You are ready to go “over the river and through the woods” and you break a timing chain. Your boss asks you to work overtime. Your daughter gets strep throat. And so on.
And yet, it was “on earth” where Jesus said.
“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.” ( John 14:27)
He said those words about giving us peace as a gift, not being troubled or afraid, just moments before His arrest, hours before He was crucified. He knew it was coming. So, how did Jesus find peace in an “on earth” moment like that? How did He have it to give? How can we find it. The next few things He said give us insight. This time let’s look at what He said in verse 28:
28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. (John 14:28-29)
Instead of focusing on His impending pain and death, Jesus fixed His gaze on the big picture, on how His terrible suffering would be used by God to achieve His purposes. Like a football player who eagerly runs onto the field, knowing he is about to be clobbered and possibly injured but fixes his mind on the possibility of helping his team win, Jesus suffered the cross “for the joy set before Him.”
And we can find peace through that attitude as well. God uses our suffering to reveal the beauty and strength of having His life within us. He does not waste any of it. If we can consider our circumstances “on earth” from a heavenly perspective, like Jesus we can find peace in the midst of troubling events.
More, next time.