The Peace of God

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27 (ESV)

I’ve been visiting different churches since arriving here in Ohio and yesterday the pastor preached on John 14:15-31. They are doing a series on the Gospel of John and it’s been helpful to me to go through this book again in this way. On a side note I would say that I find more and more in the Gospel of John each time I go through it. John Piper once remarked that you don’t start with John’s gospel and then just move on to Romans for more meat. There’s enough in John’s account to last you a lifetime.

The pastor did not spend a lot of time on John 14:27, but as I was reading and thinking about this verse during and after the sermon, I kept coming back to Jesus’ words – ‘Not as the world gives do I give to you.’ We hear a lot about ‘peace’ in our world and the word is tossed around quite freely by all of us – “I’m at peace with it” is a term we often hear. But what does that mean? What does that kind of peace give us? Is it just peace until the next crisis or conflict, which we endure and then in our own minds and judgment come to a point where we’ve put it aside and then can say we have ‘peace’? Does it really last?

Jesus has given His disciples some difficult things to grasp in John 14. Philip and Thomas especially seem to be confused about the full meaning of His words. He has also just promised them that they will not be left alone when He leaves the world, and that the Holy Spirit will be sent to comfort them then and going forward. I would guess that when the disciples talked amongst themselves in those days they were not at peace. Jesus was again saying hard things (as in John 6) and worry and doubt were probably keeping them up at night. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul gives his audience a prescription for their worry in ch.4 and then concludes “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (v. 7)

We talk a lot about “having peace” and “being at peace” but what does that really mean? How do we fully grasp what Jesus is saying in John 14:27? What does that really look like?

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4 thoughts on “The Peace of God

  1. That settled peace that does not depend upon, but rather transcends, earthly circumstance because it depends upon One who is faithful and who works every circumstance to our ultimate good. It is not glib nor reductionistic – it acknowledges great suffering and does not dishonor the sufferer because of it (even when that sufferer is oneself) – but rather than turning on God when suffering occurs, it rests upon Him as one’s refuge in the midst of it. It is a matter of faith, trusting the One who created the world and who sovereignly orders its history. depends upon actually being indwelt by and possessing a heart that is being changed by the Spirit of the Holy One of Israel, through whom the world was created, and in and for whom all things have their being, but most especially out of love for His treasured possession, His Bride, to His own glory. I love the first question in the Heidelberg catechism because of its eloquence in describing the reality of that:

    Q: What is your only comfort in life and death?
    A: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

  2. The word of God tells us that we must live by faith to faith to faith to faith and on. The only way to live in the assurance that Christ is more than enough for all of our problems is to meet with him the fiery furnace and watch as he takes us through unharmed. Every battle we face, every storm that hits us has a purpose and plan for our good as believers. When you can take hold of that truth, you can have the peace that surpasses anything else ever. We are being prepared for royalty in heaven that will never end. I would rather meet my God in the valley than to stand on the mountain alone!

  3. Dear Marianne,
    It was so much joy to read your article on faith. I couldn’t agree with you more. Peace is already inbuilt from the time we open our eyes to life, however, without JESUS in our lives, we begin to search for it as if it were outside our bodies………..Just when i get this…..Just when i do that…….Just when i have a degree…….Just when i have children…..and so on…and so forth, we keep searching until the day we truly find JESUS, only then can we find true peace. The peace of God truly surpasses all understanding and noithing and no one can take it from us unless we willfully lay it down, the question then is……why would any child of God want to lay it down? Trials, Tribulations? Betrayals? Rejection? Dissapointments? Frustration?……none of these come close robbing us of our GOD GIVEN peace. Now, that brings me to the saying that “Without a test, there is no testimony, ” ” What ever does not kill us should make us stronger” ……… The Joy of the Lord is our strength.

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