The word peace is frequently used in our culture: turn on the news and you hear about peace in the Middle East; tune into pop culture and the peace symbol is displayed on jackets and jeans; talk to a hippie and you will hear him say “peace out.” With all this talk about peace, why don’t we have peace?
Jesus even promised peace. He told His disciples in John 14:27, “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.”
If Jesus promised peace, then why do we still strive for it? What went wrong?
There are three answers to that question. For starters, most people don’t know Jesus, so they don’t know peace. Secondly, there is sin in this cursed world, and sin will always produce violence and victims.
But also we must realize that we do not define peace the same way that Jesus did. We think of peace in terms of a cease-fire, treaty, or some intervention. Try as we might, we cannot make someone peaceful. Try as our government might, we cannot make a people peaceful. Peace is personal. Peace, as Jesus promised, is strength for the difficult times.
Jesus promised that in this world we will continue to have tribulation, but through Him we can have peace. That does not mean that believing in Jesus will magically make all hardships go away, but it does mean that Jesus will walk us through the hardships, even strengthening us along the way.
Earlier in John 14 Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be our comforter, and later Paul would write that a fruit that the Spirit would produce in the Christian life is peace. Are you going through a difficult time? Then pray to the God of peace, who bestows a “peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7).”