by Karen Wilson
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.” 2 Thessalonians 3: 16
Peace is one of those things we long for, but which seems often illusive.
In a world of trouble and turmoil, with so many things that distract our hearts on almost an hour by hour basis, living with peace is a challenge.
During a particularly difficult season recently, I had a personal revelation about the influence of the Prince of Peace, Jesus, on the choice we make to live a calm and courageous life. The fact that it is our choice struck me in a new way.
In John 14:27 Jesus was talking to His followers and after living and walking with them for almost three years, He was about to leave them. Obviously, they would have been feeling anxious at the change that was just about to take place. I am sure they were asking themselves what life would be like without Jesus around and how they would cope with the challenges that lay ahead without His words of wisdom at the ready. In a poignant moment, He turned to them and said these words:
“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.”
It is interesting that Jesus knows the difference between the peace we receive from Him and the peace the world offers. His is everlasting and what the world offers is so temporal. The world offers circumstantial peace – present when everything seems to be going right, when people like you, when you don’t seem to have opposition, when no one is against you. It also offers conditional peace – reflecting how you ‘feel’ when you’ve done what others wanted, when you’ve succeeded at an event; when you do what others want in relationships, when you have completed the tasks you needed to do and have hopefully got them right!
But what kind of peace does Jesus offer?
Jesus gives us peace in the storms of life. He speaks to the waves threatening us and tells them to be still.
Jesus offers us a peaceful haven found in His arms of comfort. We can come to Him in complete brokenness and find rest with Him.
Jesus offers us peace in hostile and difficult situations. We can rely on His wisdom to touch our hearts and for grace to be a response and not revenge.
When the diagnosis is dire, Jesus offers peace despite an uncertain future.
Jesus’ peace is not conditional.
Jesus’ peace is not reliant on circumstances.
It is there for us as a gift.
His gift of peace.
So, I have begun to realise it is my choice as to what I LET my heart settle on – trouble and fear, or peace and courage. He clearly told His followers not to LET their hearts be caught up in the first. They could choose. They could make a decision to accept the Prince of Peace and let peace reign in every situation.
Now that sounds like good news to me and that’s something I am consciously going to pursue in the weeks and months ahead.
When I feel the waves rising and the heart wavering, when my legs feel a little wobbly and I am not sure of my decisions, I will remember the words of a Saviour who beckon me to trust Him and accept the peace He offers.
I will not be afraid.
I will walk with Him and walk in the strength of all He offers.
What about you?
Karen Wilson is a speaker, a pastor, and an author. She delights in connecting with people. She loves to live life to the fullest and is passionate about helping others do the same. Her book, The Inside Story, can be found on her webpage www.karensinsidestory.com