Recently, after sitting with a friend who is walking through a particularly difficult situation, I thought of the words in Jeremiah 6:14: “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” As we continue to move through our Advent series on Peace, I don’t want to overlook the difficulties many of us find ourselves living through.
Declaring peace—and even desiring peace—is much easier than achieving peace.
Our world is constantly trying to offer us peace… the right politician, the right income, the right spouse, the right job, will surely solve our problems. Yet peace is not found anywhere in this world; our sin-filled world doesn’t have any peace to give.
Jesus tells us in John 14:27, “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.” Jesus also says this in John 16:33: “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.”
Jesus makes it clear that we are to stop looking for peace in the world and that His true peace is available to everyone who will receive it.
Jesus also makes it clear that peace doesn’t preclude difficulty and challenges. And the Apostle Paul also acknowledges this in Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” These were not trite words meant to minimize a problem– Paul wrote them from a prison cell to believers who were facing pressure and persecution of their own.
Peace is available to all of us, but it only comes in knowing that Jesus is with us as we navigate the challenges and difficulties we live through in this world.
As we all continue to seek the peace that Jesus offers, here are some verses that have been an encouragement to me:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)