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.
When Jesus spoke of leaving his peace with us, He was clear to distinguish his version of the peace from the world’s. This is a distinction between the authentic and the counterfeit. The world’s version of peace is defined as tranquility and harmony between individuals or groups, without oppression or disagreement. This sounds rosy, but it is not true peace. This version of peace is dependent on circumstances; it is externally focused. Christ’s version of peace is independent of circumstances, rooted in the Spirit that now resides within us.
One of the verses in the bible I find most comforting is Psalm 23:5a, which reads “you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” This paints a picture not of a man with no enemies but a man who is so at peace that he can dine before them without fear or concern. This man’s peace is not dependent on his circumstances. In the midst of those things that are designed to cause fear, nervousness and angst, we who carry the peace of Christ remain joyful and still. This is because the peace that Christ gives us is peace powerful enough to surpass any trouble, an eternal peace that cannot be shaken by temporary distress.
Jesus tells us not to be afraid because his peace conquers all fear. He tells us not to let our hearts be troubled because his peace is more powerful than difficulty we might encounter in this world. This peace surpasses all understanding [Phil. 4:7]. Father, increase our faith in the peace that rests not on human reasoning but on the fullness of your power, in expectation that this peace will remain regardless of our circumstances.