Have you ever started your day determined that today will be the day in which you will not struggle with _________. Fill in the blank. Maybe it’s anger. Worry. Losing it with your kids. Overeating. Fear. Anxiety.
Or, perhaps, you have said, “Today WILL be the day I have ______.” Fill in the blank. Peace. Joy. Patience. Love. Kindness. I have most certainly said this a time or two. Or a thousand.
A portion of our Scripture for today specifically focuses on peace. Something that I think many of us are desperate for at one time or another in our lives. We do Bible studies about peace. We talk about it. We study it. We read about it. We determine in our hearts and minds that we are going to have peace.
But here’s the thing. When we’re trying with all of our might to achieve peace, we’ve missed a very important truth:
Peace I leave with you; My peace I GIVE to you; not as the world gives you do I GIVE to you. John 14:27a
The peace that comes from God is a GIFT. It’s not something that can be achieved, earned, or forcibly felt. It is a gift given by Jesus. A by-product of being in relationship with Him. A fruit of the Spirit, who Jesus gave us as our Helper (14:16). We don’t have to do it alone! In fact, we absolutely cannot produce it by ourselves.
Recently, as I was explaining this concept to my kids, I described it this way.
I held an apple in front of them I asked, “Where did this apple come from? Can I just blink and make this apple appear? Can I determine in my mind that I WILL make an apple out of nothing? Of course not! An apple must grow on a tree.”
In the same way, we cannot will ourselves to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. Instead, the Spirit renews our thoughts and our attitudes (Ephesians 4:23) and we bear much fruit as we abide deeply in Jesus.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him bears much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Additionally, the extraordinary thing about the gift of peace that Jesus offers us is that it is well more than absence of trouble.
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you WILL have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world. John 16:33
The gift of peace that Jesus offers us is Himself. It is found in nestling deep down into the depths of who He is, His undeniable love for us, His glorious grace poured out on us, His mercies new every morning.
It’s there that peace is found. Where peace is poured out like a fountain. In Christ Jesus. He alone is our peace.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor let your hearts be fearful. John 14:27b
In this fallen, broken world, we will face sin, hardship, sickness, broken hearts, disappointment, abandonment, frustration, betrayal. You may be reading this right now wondering how you can possibly make it through one more day with the reality of the circumstances that you are facing. You are desperate for peace. Rather than making up your mind that you WILL have peace today, surrender to Jesus. Abide in Him. Recognize that it’s only in Christ that peace is found. He is offering the beautiful and priceless gift of peace – Himself.
Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Anchored in Christ,