He Gives Peace
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
We like to be in control; it’s simply part of our human nature. Whenever calamity strikes, we immediately want to know the reason why. And even in the best seasons of our life, we tend to be cynical and guess at when our luck will run out. All too often we preoccupy ourselves with worries and possibilities that should not exist. But as we grow in our walk with Christ, a lesson that is often learned the hard way is this: we can’t know everything, and we don’t have to. We may not be able to ask God for a picture of the rest of our lives, but one thing He does grant is peace.
In John 16:33, Jesus says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Now, it’s important to consider the context of this verse. Jesus had just finished predicting his own death, and the disciples, though not quite understanding what would take place, were troubled. In just a short amount of time, they would witness their closest friend hang on a cross and die a painful, brutal death. Yet Christ Himself reassured them that they would have peace, even in that moment.
This is a beautiful picture of what it looks like to stay strong in the midst of disaster. Even when there is no hope to be found, we have an eternal hope in Christ Jesus. We can trust that He has a plan for our lives, and that no matter what may come, He cares for us. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” It can be hard to believe this when we are faced with hardships, and it’s even harder when no one can tell us why. But perhaps we need to shift our focus from the temporary struggle in front of us to the everlasting will of God.
Peace is not some sense of false assurance that magically numbs the pain. It is not a cure-all for every heartache. While it may not change our circumstances, though, it does change us. It gives us the strength to push through all our troubles and the wisdom to make the tough decisions that await us on a daily basis. It gives us something firm and unchangeable to hold onto, as we are surrounded by uncertainty. Peace is a reminder of the joy that we have in Christ. It is a reminder to surrender our control to the One who knows far more than we do. And we can always remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”