When I hear the word peace, I think of the sound of the ocean. I picture the beach, in the early morning hours when it’s just me, the seagulls and the sound of the waves breaking. One of the things I look forward to on vacation, is my early morning walks, where I can think, pray and just be at peace.
I’m confident we all have that place we like to go to that gives us an overwhelming sense of peace. Some might call that their “Happy Place”! That wonderful destination where you are away from it all, able to simply relax and be at peace.
Jesus talks about having peace many times throughout the New Testament. He greets people and sends them off with “Peace be with you!” or “Go in Peace!”. Jesus understood the importance of peace, Jesus had peace and he knew people were seeking & needing peace.
Are you familiar with this verse, “To find peace, take your family to the beach, forget about everything for a week, take walks, lay on the beach, read books- there, there you will find peace. Peace be with you!”?
Have you heard that one? No, I made that up. I’ve searched the Bible front to back, the verse isn’t there. Bummer. Jesus speaks about a different kind of “Happy Place”. Jesus teaches us that our source of peace doesn’t come from getting to a certain destination, Jesus teaches about a peace that comes from Him.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
What “things” was Jesus referring to when he said, “I have told you these things”? At this moment in scripture, He was speaking to his disciples, he was summing up all he had taught them, all the promises he had made. The disciples knew him, they had walked with him, they had ministered with him. Jesus is reminding them about all of these “things” because He knows trouble is coming, He know things are going to be difficult, but He wants, so desperately, for them to know they can still have peace.
It’s kind of like a coach on the sideline right before a big game. The coach says, “Don’t forget guys, don’t forget every practice, don’t forget everything I have said, everything I have taught. This game is going to be difficult, but you’re ready, you’ve prepared for this!”
Jesus doesn’t promise peace because life is going to be a “walk on the beach”. Jesus promises a peace which co-exists with trouble, a peace which is experienced in and through conflict and struggle.
Is this where you experience peace? This is the exact opposite of my peaceful walks on the beach. Trouble, conflict, and struggle are a great big, ugly part of life. If you’re not in it now, it’s coming. I apologize if this seems all doom and gloom, but the Bible doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Things are going to get hard, days are going to be difficult, there will be conflict.
“Yes, but.” I will repeat those two simple words. “Yes, but." “Yes” Things are going to get hard, “but”, we can have peace in Him, He has overcome the world!
How cool would it be for a coach to look at his players before a game and say “Hey! This game is going to be hard, but you can have peace, because we have already won this game!” Can you imagine the confidence and peace those players would feel? They would play their hearts out, they’ve already won!
Y’all, we have already won. We already have victory. It doesn’t matter your circumstance, it doesn’t matter the size or scope of your trouble. You can have peace in Him, because He has already won.
For me, yesterday was one of those days that just knocks you on your backside. For real, have you ever heard someone say, “that threw me for a loop!” Well friends, I feel like I’m on a roller coaster stuck on that loop. Trouble came my way yesterday and I woke this morning thinking it was all a bad dream. I share this with you because I am, in real time, experiencing peace in Him in the midst of conflict and struggle. I’m claiming victory over these circumstances right now. Thank you Jesus for a peace that doesn’t make sense, but is such a real, in your face peace, it is undeniable!
Are you in the thick of the struggle? Are you currently facing conflict or trouble? I pray right now that you would know & experience the peace that passes all understanding, I pray you would know the peace that is found in Him.
Peace be with you! -Sarah