“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 (NLT)
When my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, “peace” wasn’t the word I would have used to describe my thoughts or emotions. My feelings were all over the map as I wondered what good could come out of such an upsetting situation.
Maybe you, too, have encountered seasons where it felt like God didn’t show up or allowed devastation to happen.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus shared these words with His disciples in a farewell discourse along the road that would ultimately lead to the cross: “I am leaving you with a giftâpeace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).
Sometimes I think peace will appear when troubles disappear — when the house is clean, the car is fixed, the surgery is over, etc. However, the Greek word for “peace” used in John 14:27, eirene, means a tranquil state of the soul — an internal posture independent of external circumstances. This means we can experience stillness on the inside even with upsetting situations occurring on the outside of our lives.
How do we receive this peace that Jesus promised? The answer isn't a program or even a step-by-step process. Through the Gospel of John, we find that peace isn’t a procedure; peace is a Person. Embracing peace means slowing down and savoring Jesus. He is still the Prince of Peace whom Isaiah wrote about 700 years before His birth (Isaiah 9:6).
Jesus understands our struggle with peace because He put on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). When Jesus walked the earth, He wasn’t immune to trouble. When His friend Lazarus got sick and died, Jesus was “deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled” (John 11:33, ESV). He expressed human emotions and shed tears (John 11:35).
When Lazarus' sister Martha asked questions, his sister Mary wept, and mourners cried, Jesus entered into their pain. He knows the losses you’ve experienced and longs to enter into your pain as well. His peace is a gift — one the world cannot give us. Knowing that Jesus understands earthly troubles firsthand can bring us peace when we’re walking through difficulties.
My dad lived only 29 days after his cancer diagnosis. He was a Christ follower, so I know he is more alive today than he has ever been. Yet this season has been filled with all sorts of emotions — including anger and sadness.
Perhaps your current issues have more to do with finances, friendships, family or something else. As you wrestle through your circumstances today, remember that the path to peace is the path to a Person. Trouble will come, but trouble doesn’t get the final word because Jesus promises us His peace.
Jesus, thanks for offering me Your peace. Teach me to savor that peace in my mind and my heart today. Help me to express my feelings while holding on to my faith at the same time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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For a deeper dive into savoring the peace of Jesus, check out Melissa Spoelstra’s new Lifeway Bible study, The Gospel of John: Savoring the Peace of Jesus in a Chaotic World.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
John 14:1, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (NLT).
John 16:33, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (NLT).
What current feelings or frustrations can you bring to Jesus today? What would it look like for you to savor Jesus’ peace despite whatever troubles you’re experiencing? Share with us in the comments!
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Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106