During this season of Lent, in preparation for Easter, I’m reading “40 Days of Decrease” by Alicia Britt Chole. (I’m loving it, by the way! Click here for more info!) Today, I read through John 14:23-31, and verse 27 jumped out at me (more than it has in the past).
“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 14:27 NIV
Normally when I read this verse, I immediately think of John 16:33… “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)
Jesus promised that in this world we will have trouble, and He also promised that in Him we have access to peace. But what I love about John 14:27 – He says that He is leaving His peace with us… He’s giving it to us as a gift. We don’t have to do anything to earn it. It’s freely given.
I love how the Amplified Bible says it: “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”
Jesus commands us to not let our hearts be troubled, to not give way to fear. He wants our faith, our hope, and our trust to be in Him alone. The world gives us so many reasons to be agitated, annoyed, intimidated, and unsettled… But Jesus gives us the very gift we need to overcome the stresses and pressures of our everyday lives – His gift of peace.
I also love how the Message says it: “I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.”
We can get used to being left out, left behind. The world leaves us feeling empty, abandoned, deprived, robbed. But we don’t have to be upset any longer because Jesus left us well and whole – through His perfect sacrifice on the cross! In Him we find life, love, and peace. Peace that passes all understanding. Peace that doesn’t make sense to the world. Peace that guards our hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus.
The Greek word for peace used in these verses is eirēnē, and it means “security, safety, prosperity, felicity (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous); of the Messiah’s peace – the way that leads to peace (salvation); of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is” (blueletterbible.org).
This is the peace He gives us. It settles us when the world (i.e. our precious child) is getting on our last nerve. It makes us feel safe, secure… our soul is assured of its salvation through Christ. We don’t have to fear anything when we have this peace.
The word give in the Greek is didōmi, and it means “to give someone something to his advantage – to bestow a gift, to grant, give to one asking, let have, to supply, furnish, necessary things, to give what is due or obligatory, to pay: wages or reward; give forth from one’s self (to give, hand out lots).”
Jesus wants to supply a necessary thing to you today – His perfect peace. The peace that calms the storms of this life. The peace that quiets the lies of the enemy. The peace that is for your advantage – from Jesus Himself, bestowed upon you as a gift. I pray that you would receive His gift of peace today in greater measure than ever before.
This week’s song suggestion: “No Fear in Love” by Steffany Gretzinger (Listen on YouTube)