Jesus’ Promise of Peace

 “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  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 14:25-27

 “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

Famous last words come in all sizes and styles. Some are funny. Some are sad. Some last words make us stop to think. Jesus’ ‘last words’ in John’s gospel account are comforting. In His words, Jesus promises two wonderful gifts to His disciples that are also promised to us. First, He tells us of the Holy Spirit, our Counselor. The Holy Spirit will come and teach us all the things that Jesus Himself taught and remind us of them. Then, Jesus promises the gift of His peace. It is so important to realize that the peace Jesus gives us is different from the peace the world gives. When people in the world talk about peace, they are not talking about a peace we can have in our hearts. They focus on peace in the world, not on the peace we can have in us. We have thankfully never had war on American soil in my lifetime. Yet, there are a huge number of Americans who, if they were honest, would say that they are not at peace. They have so much trouble and fighting in their lives. There is only one kind of real peace- and that is the peace Jesus gives. This peace is not changed by what happens in our lives. Rather, our peace comes from the Holy Spirit living in us. He says to our souls, “Peace, be still. All is well between you and your Creator.” There can be no more real peace than the peace that comes from the presence of God living in us.

Jesus told His disciples that some very sad and troubling things were about to happen to Him and yet they could have peace. With the cross just hours in the future, Jesus gave a promise of peace to the disciples. Consider, though, the peace the disciples did not have in the days that followed these moments with Jesus in the Upper Room. They stayed behind closed doors after seeing their Teacher and dear Friend brutally crucified, even though He had done nothing wrong. This is not a picture of peace as we might dream it up. What Jesus was promising the 11 disciples then and His disciples today was a peace no matter what happens.

Jesus said that His disciples would have trouble in this world (a great Monday coffee mug verse if you ask me). But He also promised peace in the same breath. Jesus gives peace to His followers in two key ways. The first is from His earlier promise, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-17). With the Holy Spirit dwelling (living) in us, we have nothing to be afraid of because we are taught what to do. We are led down life’s path as we listen to His voice. Second, Jesus tells us that He has overcome the world. No matter what happens in this life, or how crazy it gets, we have a Savior who has overcome this world and knowing Him can give us peace no matter what we go through. What an amazing pair of gifts-the Holy Spirit and the peace of God!

 

Prayer focus: Ask God to bring to your heart the peace that comes from the Holy Spirit living in us. Thank God for sending us “Emmanuel, God with us.”

Prayer focus: Ask God to give you an inner peace even though there may be trouble in your world. Thank God that in Jesus we have overcome the world.

Note: This blog post is the edited combination of two devotionals written for Advent with the help of Gretchen Moyer.

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