Read: John 14:1-31
“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
John 14 is packed with theology about who Jesus is, the Holy Spirit and God the Father. It’s one of the main passages establishing the concept of the Trinity. One God in three distinct persons. Jesus clearly claims this…
In verse 27 Jesus gives his disciples a gift – peace on the inside. He encourages them to not be troubled or afraid.
Peace of heart and mind is a distinguishing characteristic of someone who is full of the Spirit and walking by faith. The disciples go on to lose all their peace at the crucifixion, only to recapture it after the resurrection.
With us too, there are events – a loss, an illness, a financial crisis that threaten to steal our peace. Sometimes we find our world rocked and our hearts in angst. I think that’s part of being human, and even the men who walked with Jesus were susceptible to such moments. But one of the hallmarks of walking with God is peace.
Paul calls it the peace that passes understanding and refers to it as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. So let me ask you, how is your peace? How is your heart?
Peace can be a good barometer for the condition of your heart and your trust level in God. If you find yourself anxious a lot, worrying about things, it’s time to do some heart work with God. To invite the Spirit to fill you with His peace. To surrender everything again to Jesus, and to choose to trust God and His faithfulness.
That’s easier said than done you say? It can be a struggle and a process, especially if you are a control freak or if you’re simply cruising through life with Jesus in the car, but not driving.
The apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:12 to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” God saves us the moment we call on the name of Jesus – nothing to work out there. But there are deeper waters of salvation for us to wade into and eventually swim in. Part of that depth is this peace that defies logic.
I don’t think Paul is talking about heaven or hell. He’s talking about surrender and faith. As we wrestle with the realities of our hearts, our fears, our temptations, our loyalty and our trust, we find ourselves walking in faith and not by what we see around us. We find our hearts have peace even in the face of tragedy or death. We find ourselves so connected to God and Him with us that the words “Whom shall I fear?” are written across our hearts and minds.
So if you wrestle with fear, its time to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. To lean into God, to invite the work of the Spirit in your life, and to surrender your everything to Him and put Him first in your life. It’s time to find that peace that comes when God is alive inside your heart, and you have given Him everything.
Jesus – please give me the gift of peace, that I may walk through this life as a beacon of light, and an example of faith. Forgive me for my tendency to try to control and help me to surrender it all to You again today. Spirit of God, fill me with Your presence and Your peace that passes understanding. In Jesus’ name, amen.