Are we talking objective or subjective peace? Like world peace or inner tranquility?
The other day my friend was talking about how great it was to make the long-distance trip to see his father for Thanksgiving; however, since he had last seen him, his dad had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. While managing things pretty well, Dad is struggling, wondering how life is going to change. I asked whether he is a praying man. 'Yeah, but praying makes him think more about all of it--it's hard,' he replied. Hmmm. I can see that in one way, but then again, when I pray, I feel more peace. Hmmm.
Once again, it took me back to Jesus' conversation with the disciples that Thursday night so long ago. The disciples were nervous--talk about unsure of the future! Why, they had given up their jobs, completely changed their lives to follow Jesus, and now He's going to leave them?! Yeah, they were worried. As Jesus looked from one face to the next that torch-lit night, he made this life-changing proffer.
"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not be afraid."1
Now Jesus had told them he would send the Holy Spirit who would be their Advocate, Counselor and Teacher, but what they needed was peace and assurance. Indeed the promise of peace through the Holy Spirit is surely the greatest of his gifts. Think of it, the only agent of God on earth to bring us such peace is the Holy Spirit. But for those disciples on that night--it was the greatest thing Jesus could offer them.
I memorized this verse, this gift from Jesus, at the most difficult time in my life decades ago. In my mind's eye, I would see Jesus speaking the words to me, and I knew they were truth--he alone would give me peace. I savored the words, I treasured them as I do today--Peace I leave you, My peace I give you. Not as the world gives give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.2
The search for inner peace is a multi-billion-dollar industry. People search high and low for tranquility, sometimes willing to sell their souls in the process, and still it eludes many of us. And it seems with each passing year, the more complicated the world gets, the more anxious we become, and the less we know peace in our lives.
There is no real peace without Jesus, but how do we receive this peace from Jesus and then truly experience it? Look at Paul's instructions to the Philippians, taken from the New Living Translation Bible. Please consider this line by line:
>Don’t worry about anything;
>instead, pray about everything.
>Tell God what you need,
>and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.
>His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.3
Try it. Try praying to the One who loves you and can effect change in your heart, mind and soul - the One who can bring you inner peace, which as Paul says is beyond what the human mind can actually understand. More to come on this aspect of the Holy Spirit in lives of believers, but for now--
"The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace."4
A prayer: God, we turn to you for inner peace and calm. We ask you to supernaturally impart to us your gift of peace. How we need You! Amen.
'Want peace? Look to God, bow your heart and knee to the Almighty. The Holy Spirit of God longs to give you his peace.
Our desired anthem today: All is Well, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thotoEXt42E
Holy Spirit #8
1 - John 14.27
2 - John 14.27
3 - Philippians 4.6-7, New Living Translation
4 - Numbers 6.24-26