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 fearful. John 14:27
The above words were spoken by Jesus to His disciples while at the Last Supper. During this long discourse, recorded in the Gospel of John, Jesus warned His followers that difficult times were ahead, including persecution, and even death. Yet, He comforted them with these words, telling them of the Comforter who would come and minister to them.
I note that Jesus made a point of distinguishing between the Peace He gives, as opposed to the “peace” offered by the world. How does the world give? We can easily observe the efforts at “peace-making” undertaken by various world powers just over the last century, and conclude that the world is a pretty poor giver of peace. Yet, the world clamors for its political leaders to deliver “peace.” In colleges, students can pursue majors in Peace Studies. Protests and, ironically, riots break out from time to time, demanding “peace” or “justice” of one sort or another. This is so-called peace, as the world offers it.
Jesus, on the other hand, gives true Peace that can be trusted to be 100 percent effective. His Peace doesn’t look like the world’s peace. His Peace is often invisible to the world. It works internally, within the heart of the believer. It is the kind of peace that enables the followers of Jesus to carry on with a cheerful heart, in the face of the worst kind of earthly trouble.
You are perhaps familiar with the story of Corrie ten Boom, the Christian Dutch woman sent to a concentration camp during World War II for sheltering Jews from the Nazis. She and her sister were imprisoned together, under some of the most horrific conditions imaginable. Yet, in the midst of these horrifying conditions, she and her sister Betsie demonstrated the Peace of Jesus, giving thanks to God in all circumstances.
I’ll conclude, by offering you some quotes from Corrie ten Boom that express the peace and faith she demonstrated throughout her life. I believe these quotes illustrate well the Peace of which Jesus spoke at the Last Supper:
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength. Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.
Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.
Let God’s promises shine on your problems.
Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.
Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.
I trust that whatever the world may have thrown your way this past week, you will find this Sabbath a time of experiencing the Peace of Christ in your heart and home.