For many decades we have been promised a world of peace for everyone. Yet everywhere we look, we find the opposite. We see conflicts, natural disasters, plagues, destruction of farmland, continual hunger, increasing numbers of the mentally deranged, terminally ill individuals, dictators and unscrupulous governments, etc. So where is all of this peace, goodwill, and success we were promised? All around us people are losing their jobs, their property, their wealth, and even their family. Is this the peace and happiness that we are supposed to have?
Jesus said, “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). If we haven’t been able to find peace ourselves for these thousands of years, then what is this peace that He left with us? How is it possible for us to not be anxious and fearful?
Let’s look at a few instances in Jesus’ life and see the source of His peace. “…it came to pass, that after three days [His parents] found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors [of the Law of Moses], both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. And when they saw Him, they were amazed: and His mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought Me? [Didn’t you know] that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:46-49 emphasis added).
Then, in Luke 8, verses 23 and 24, we read“…as they sailed [Jesus] fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, Master, Master, we perish. Then He arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm” (emphasis added). Even though Jesus was in the same boat with the same troublesome storm as the rest of them, He laid there sleeping peacefully.
Later, “…when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea…straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid…And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased” (Matthew 14:23-25,27,32 emphasis added). In this example, Jesus again had no fear of the storm, the waves, or even of sinking while on the water. He was peacefully at ease and in control the whole time.
In one more case, Jesus was nearing the end of His life on this earth and He went into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. As He agonized over what God expected of Him, He ultimately concluded, “…nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou wilt” (Mark 14:36). Jesus’ peace came not from listening to Himself or anyone around Him; it only came when He listened to His heavenly Father and was in His will. He only did or spoke what God told Him to, and not what He felt was right. He was in such intimacy with His Father that everything that originated from Him was exactly what was needed at any particular moment. “For I have not spoken from myself, but the Father who sent Me has Himself given Me commandment what I should say and what I should speak; and I know that His commandment is life eternal. What therefore I speak, as the Father has said to Me, so I speak” (John 12:49,50).
Jesus’ life on this earth was in perfect harmony with His Father in heaven. He was at rest with full confidence that whatever situation or crisis that was to come His way God had ordained and already resolved. He was completely obedient to all that His Father required of Him. There was absolutely no fear, worry, anxiety, or unrest in His being. And this is the peace that Jesus left with us. Even the night that Jesus was born, the angels declared, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14 emphasis added).
How do we obtain that peaceful assurance which He had and gave to us over two thousand years ago? We receive it by allowing Him into our hearts and by obeying His Word. But when we reject God and His Son and live our lives without Him, there will never be any real, everlasting peace. This is what Jesus was referring to when He said, “…not as the world giveth.” Almost everywhere today, we see man’s will and desires being carried out, not God’s plan. This is why there is such constant turmoil and lack of peace all over the planet.
Is the life you are living one of peace, joy, and happiness? Were you able to leave your residence this morning and go about your day without fear, worry, and distress? Have you wondered to yourself about this peace that the world promised? Jesus gave us all the peace we will ever need when He sacrificed His life upon the cross. He fulfilled all of the requirements that we could not accomplish in our own strength, on our behalf. All we need to do is to give up this life of confusion and discord we are living, and receive Him and His peace that passes all understanding into our hearts. It is a simple effort that will yield everlasting results.
Look at our section on the Way to God to learn more on how to have real peace in your life right now.