Last week, we discussed the gift of Hope as we lit our first Advent candle. This week, we discover the gift of Peace.
In John 14:27, Jesus said to His disciples, “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.”
Why would Jesus feel the need to give them Peace?
Because Jesus knew what was coming. He knew what He was about to endure in the coming days – suffering and death. He also knew what His followers would endure in the coming months and years as the Church was being formed. And yet, He didn’t just tell them, “it will going to be ok,” or that there wouldn’t be any trouble. Instead, He said, “In the midst of all that is happening, I give you my peace. No matter what circumstance you may face, my peace is with you.
In the beginning of John 14, Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled”. In other words- Don’t worry, I’ve already got all your bases covered. Then, he began to give them these assurances:
I am preparing a place for you, and I will come back for you.
You may not know where I am going, but you know the way to get there . I am the Way to get there. In other words, there is more to life than simply what’s going on right now. What’s going on right now is temporary. There’s so much more! You can’t even begin to imagine how good it is going to be. So, be at Peace.
He also said, I am in the Father and the Father is in me.
As Christianity would develop and form over the next several centuries, there would be false doctrines and teachers who would attempt to warp the very identity of Jesus by saying that He wasn’t really God, or that He wasn’t really human. However, the disciples could remember back to Jesus’ words and be confident that He was both God and man. He was who He said He was. So, be at Peace.
Then, He told them, “You will do greater works.”
In other words, Jesus said, “You’ve seen me do some wonderful things. But after I go away, you are going to do even more amazing things. Just wait till you see what I can accomplish through you. Your life here has purpose and meaning as you glorify my name and accomplish my will. So, be at Peace.
Then He said “The Spirit of Truth will be in you.”
After I leave You will have an Advocate, a Counselor, who will show you all things and teach you in all things. You won’t be doing this alone. The Comforter will help you. So, be at Peace.
You see, Jesus didn’t try to take away the trouble they would go through. He didn’t tell them it was going to be easy. But, He gave them His peace so they could walk in it, knowing that in the end, all things will be made right. Through these assurances, they were able to walk in His Peace because they could rest in the fact that His peace would carry through them through every circumstance.
In Isaiah 26:3, We read this promise, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
No matter what circumstance you are going through, no matter what trials you face, no matter what task God has called you to carry out, He is faithful to keep you walking in peace as you stay focused on Him. this kind of peace can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ. Only He can give you this kind of everlasting Peace.
And so, through this Advent celebration, as we are waiting for the return of Jesus Christ, our King, Let us not be worried. Let us not be afraid.
Instead, let us be at Peace. Amen.
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