“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.” John 14.27
It is often said that 'peace' in a Christian context is not about the absence of hard times or situations of conflict, but rather is the ability to be at peace despite all that goes on around us; resting in a position of security in spite of the storm. Yet even this amazing description falls woefully short of the fullness of what Jesus gives us.
Jesus was not just talking about being peaceful in troubled times, but about what was within him being given to us. It is not just 'peace' in general that we are being given - it is his peace. The ministry of Jesus was not about finding shelter whilst the storm raged, but was about actively offering transformation to those he encountered. He wasn't sheltering from the storm - he was the storm!
What does this mean for us? It means that we have the transforming power of Jesus within us. When we face the storms in life, whatever they may be, we do not simply look to Jesus to give us peace; instead we look to ‘the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead' (Romans 8.11). This is the Spirit who lives within us, and whom we can allow to bring change through us.
The point is that as 'peace-bearers' we bring change and don’t simply shelter from the storms. The change might be as simple as performing an act of kindness, offering a word of encouragement, confronting the storms that rage against us or those known to us, and seeking God’s stillness.
As you sit before him now, recall the truth: 'I carry the peace of Jesus within me'. What will you do with his peace today?
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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