“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33, ESV
Some of the quietest moments of my life, where I have heard the voice of God the loudest, weren’t while I was catching coffee at sunrise, but were when I was facing the fierce opposition or dealing with the issues of health (like open heart surgery at age 39). In those moments I had a peace that transcended my external experiences. I saw all the turmoil going on, knew the questions I had, but simply had a peace and confidence the Lord was with me. I remember facing the most challenging day of my life when I found out I had a stroke with complete poise and calm knowing that God in his sovereignty had allowed this to happen.
Sometimes we look for peace in the wrong places. We imagine that there will peace if we don’t face tribulation or conflict. We can think that if we “don’t rock the boat” everything will be ok. But Jesus had a different kind of peace, a deaper peace to give to his disciples. He fortold all that he would face so that they would know that even in the mist of the earth shattering, world rocking moments ahead, that they could have perfect peace in Him.
The disciples needed to know that He was laying down His life, it wasn’t being taken. They needed to know that this was God’s plan all along and that God always does what He purposes. They needed to know that when they abanoned Him, He wasn’t alone and when they would later face persecution, He wouldn’t abandon them. They needed to know that He knew they would abandon Him, and He still loved them.
Father, thank you for your perfect peace that transcends the turmoil that we often find ourselves tangled up in. Thank you, “that even in the presence of our enemies you prepare a table before us.” Peace doesn’t come to us in the ways we would always want or expect, but peace come through you. Thank you for being my peace today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.