A Different Peace

"The peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid." John 14:27 NLT

What exactly does it take to have peace?

I've often thought if I could avoid financial crunches, peace would result. Having enough to pay the monthly obligations with adequate left over for investments, hobbies, entertainment, and savings. Surely I'd be at peace. A trouble-free marriage would surely bring peace also. Both mates getting along, never fighting, and having a couple of complacent kids to boot. What better picture of tranquility? Of course, at this stage in my life, I'm looking for a peaceful retirement. Not having to work until I die. Social Security not running dry before I get the opportunity to draw out what I've invested during my working career. Hoping it will be sufficient monthly to cover what expenses I'll still have. Doing what I want when I want with no one to tell me differently. Ah…the life. Peace.

While all of the above scenarios might bring peaceful circumstances, there's no guarantee I would actually grasp serenity. Inner turmoil can still rage where there is financial solidity, marital stability, and retirement security. Jesus proposes a peace within such circumstances, but also apart from them. The above is the type of peace the world promises. All things must be in place to experience it. No troubles, trials, or stressors. Jesus' peace is radically different. Some might classify it as odd.

Jesus' peace has nothing to do with circumstances and everything to do with relationship and understanding. We were created for relationship with our Creator. When sin severs that connection-which it does for every person born, we are robbed of peace. We search for it-in financial security, relationships, substances, entertainment-but never find it. Or if we think we have, we soon discover it's only temporary. Soon, we'll want a different toy.

Jesus sends His Spirit to give us what no other play toys or circumstances can: true and lasting peace. A soothing calmness in the face of danger, adversity, and hostile situations. A peace unlike any the world can offer or understand. A gentle reassurance that all things are in His hands-and we are too. A peace we can't understand or even explain, but when we have it, we aren't troubled or afraid. We know He is in control.

Let God give you this different type of peace.

Prayer: Father, thank You for giving a peace that pervades regardless of our circumstances.

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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