March 13, 2020
Worldly and Spiritual Peace
“All this I have spoken while still with you.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
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” (John 14:25-27).
There is a difference between the peace that the world offers and the peace that Jesus offers through the Holy Spirit. The worldly meaning of peace is the absence of war and violence, the freedom from disturbances and stress, and the tranquility to live a peaceful life. Many people seek peace by fleeing from their hectic lives to a remote place in the mountains, or by practicing yoga to deal with inner disturbances. Others just want to read the newspaper in peace. On a bigger scale, peace treaties, like the Paris Peace Treaties after WW II, end a war between hostile countries formally and allow them to reconcile and coexist peacefully. But is this really the peace Jesus is talking about?
In John 14:27, the word “peace” reflects the Hebrew shalomand is used as a Jewish greeting. Jesus used it to address his disciples when he met them after the resurrection saying, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19, 26). Shalom literally means reconciliation with God and to be in harmony and wholeness with God. Jesus offers the real peace — his peace — as a gift to us. It is an unshakable, eternal peace. We receive it by seeking and trusting the Savior, who paid for our sins on the cross, to make us righteous, clean and in peace with God.
Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We see it in people who have truly entrusted their lives to Christ: in their calm strength; their tranquility; their resistance to trouble; lack of fear; their strong trust and faith in Jesus (John 14:27).
A while ago I heard that “the opposite of peace is not war, but fear.” So often we are not at peace with ourselves and with God because of fear — fear of failure; fear of loss; fear of not having enough money; fear of pain; fear of loneliness; fear of lack of control; fear of unemployment. All these fears trouble our hearts, distract our minds and rob us of the peace of Christ. We can overcome such fears by accepting God’s gift of his peace, by letting the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) rule in our hearts and by letting the Holy Spirit produce true peace within us. Shalom!
Prayer:Dear heavenly Father, thank you for pouring your peace over me through the Holy Spirit. I ask you to rule my heart and mind so that my heart will not be troubled, and I will not be afraid, but at peace with myself, my neighbor and most importantly, at peace with you forever in your kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen!