I think we all want peace. After all, who in their right mind would crave conflict, war, and anxiety?
Scripture often speaks of peace as a positive, yet intangible thing. God is a God of peace, and he wants to share that peace with you and me.
In the New Testament, the word for peace suggests rest (Acts 9:31), quietness (Acts 24:2), and unity (Acts 7:26).
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To me, “peace” in the vernacular, is the opposite. Those who want to control us use the promise of peace in abusive and manipulative ways.
I am saying that people use our desire for “peace” to enrich themselves and accomplish selfish and/or evil goals.
Satan uses our desire for peace to cause us to act in ways that contradict our own welfare.
I believe that many of us, if not most of us, have a deep-seated desire for peace.
Right now, you might want peace more than ever. So many things in this world are changing. We don’t know what’s going to happen today or tomorrow.
I think I’ve stumbled across why we want peace. We want consistency. We want stability. We want predictability. We want safety.
Sometimes, however, we fail to realize that those things can only come from God.
The world is incapable of giving us peace. Governments change. People change. Seasons change. Peace on earth is impossible without God.
God never changes.
James says that, with God, there is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). There’s not even a small possibility that God will change.
Jesus, being God, also never changes.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.Hebrews 13:8
The same Jesus who was born as a human being, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross is the same Jesus who can live in us today (2 Corinthians 4:10).
Fortunately, as Jesus walks upon this earth, He gives His followers, then and now, reason for hope.
In scripture, as His ministry draws to a close (John 13:1), Jesus prepares His disciples for the inevitable: He would leave this world, and they would stay (John 17:11).
I am trying to tell you that
Our world is subject to change.
In this life, nothing lasts forever (Matthew 24:35).
During His well-known discourse in John Chapter 14, the Savior gives reassuring words that extend through the ages.
We can have peace, regardless of what changes in our life or in our world (John 16:33).
I can imagine how the disciples had grown accustomed to spending their time with Jesus. They had left behind their old life and embraced a new one (Luke 18:28).
Now, Jesus tells them He’s leaving, but they must stay behind.
Uncertainty leads to fear.
With no one to lead them and no one to follow, how would the disciples continue living in a hostile world?
Almost 2,000 years later, we may have similar feelings. We live in a world that’s increasingly violently hostile toward God, Jesus, and believers (John 15:19).
To that, add the uncertainty of:
- The supposed virus pandemic.
- Political turmoil.
- The suspension of law enforcement.
- Election Fraud.
- The weaponization of justice against the innocent.
- Forces of globalization.
- The Antichrist’s New World Order.
- Vaccines and the Mark of the Beast.
- White Genocide.
Many things are changing. Forces and people beyond our control have taken away the fundamental institutions of our society.
In the past, we Americans enjoyed a framework set forth by laws. The constitution that guaranteed our way of life was stable and predictable. Now, we cannot count on the government or local authorities to preserve peace, stability, and safety.
As our nation and way of life collapses, we can identify with the disciples’ fear. What will happen next? What will we do? How will we survive?
I want to take a look at…
Jesus’ message of peace.
It sustained the disciples as they entered a new phase of life. It can also support us as we individually and collectively enter a new season.
Jesus knew the disciple’s hearts. He knew they felt fear.
He began by defining peace as their personal responsibility.
Jesus says that peace is…
To have it, you must deliberately accept it. That’s what Jesus wanted his disciples to do.
Here’s what He says in Verse One of our chapter:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.John 14:1
It’s your job to have peace in your heart. It’s up to you to “let not your heart be troubled.” It’s up to you to believe in Jesus.
In other words, if you’ve received the New Birth, and you don’t have peace, the problem is with you, not with God.
Next, Jesus describes
If you’ve paid attention to the presidency over the past 4 years, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Trust the Plan.” Some people wanted to believe that our President would bring Democrat and Deep State criminals to justice, but he didn’t.
Now, after the fact, those who “trust the plan” know that they misplaced their hope. The country now rests in the hands of our foreign and domestic enemies.
I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. I do, however, know that Jesus has made divine preparation for us.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.John 4:2-3
Jesus’ salvation assures us that we have more than what we have in this life (1 Corinthians 15:19).
We might not now enjoy the physical presence of Jesus, but we soon will.
John, a disciple who recorded Jesus’ words in our chapter, laid hold on this promise.
He says in chapter 1 of his epistle,
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.1 John 3:2
We have one more change to endure. After that, we will enjoy eternal life in God’s presence.
Next, I call to your attention…
A definite path.
Jesus doesn’t leave us guessing about how we will get from here to there. He says,
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6
As change stares us down, we must trust no one and nothing except Jesus and His Word (Matthew 24:35).
Fortunately, we have…
Jesus gives us evidence of His identity and of His capabilities.
Earlier in John’s gospel, Jesus teaches:
I and my Father are one.John 10:30
Now, He says,
Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.John 14:11
The disciples had spent a long time with Jesus. They knew who He was. They knew what He can do. They watched him do it.
As Jesus leaves His disciples behind, He gives them (and us)…
Here’s how Jesus puts it:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.John 14:12
Did you hear that? Those who believe on Jesus will not only do His works, but they will do greater works.
Rather than worrying about what’s going to happen and how you’ll get by, how about allowing God’s power to work through you (Ephesians 3:7)?
Now, let’s consider…
His abiding presence
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.John 14:21
If you want God to love you; If you want Jesus to love you, all you must do is keep His commandments.
Even better, through obedience, you will cause Jesus to abide with you.
In this life, we will never walk alone, if we obey Him. It’s conditional.
What do you think about that word “IF“? Once again, you have control over your situation. You can have Jesus’ presence in your life if you want it.
Do you want it?
Finally, Jesus promises…
An active Comforter.
As already noted, Jesus will manifest Himself to you, if you keep His commandments. He offers even more to ensure that you never have to feel afraid or alone.
The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.John 14:26
As long as you control your heart, believe (John 14:1), and obey (John 14:21), you have the entire Godhead on your side. You have a threefold cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12) that will support you through whatever happens in your life or in your world!
Peace is available, if you will accept it (John 16:33).
In closing, I want you to notice a significant distinction that Jesus makes in this chapter. His peace is…
Not as the world giveth.
Pay attention to John Chapter 14, Verse 27:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.John 14:27
This makes me wonder, “How does the world give peace?”.
The world might encourage you to look for peace in…
Wealth and ease.
In Luke Chapter 12, Jesus tells us of a rich man who had brilliant success. His harvests were so large that he ran out of storage space. In response, he built larger barns to replace his old ones.
Here’s what he said:
I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.Luke 12:19
You might have a similar situation. You have enough resources to last longer than your expected lifetime. Why not enjoy it?
Is that really peace?
Here’s what God says about it:
Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?Luke 12:20
Jesus summarizes the lesson by saying,
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.Luke 12:21
Next, I’d like you to think of the world’s peace as the absence of conflict through…
The world tells us to accept the culture of our enemies. The world tells us to eliminate barriers such as race and national boundaries. The world tells us that all religions are equal, except the True Religion of the Bible, which they despise.
In our country, the world tells us not to take a stand for any moral value or ethical standard. If only we wouldn’t be so rigid, we all could get along: We all could have peace.
In scripture, Israel had a similar problem.
God told the people to guard their hearts and minds. He told them to avoid peace treaties and alliances (Exodus 34:12). He told them to never intermarry with the heathen.
Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever:Ezra 9:12
Throughout scripture, God’s people didn’t listen. They compromised to get peace, and they suffered.
The world also offers peace through…
Rather than dealing with fundamental problems such as sin, the world’s religious system wants to declare peace without repentance (Acts 3:19).
Consider, as an example, the terrible condition of the people in Jeremiah Chapter Six, Verse 13:
From the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.Jeremiah 6:13
Doesn’t that sound like our nation?
Anyway, returning to the scripture at hand, we see that the world offers peace through religion.
It’s a simple process: “Christian” leaders say that you have peace. Easy peasy!
They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.Jeremiah 6:14
Religion can help you feel good, but, in the end, it fails to deliver peace.
Think about the adulterous woman at the well: She thought that she was OK, living in sin.
Here’s what she says in John Chapter 4, Verse 22:
We know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.John 4:22
Fortunately for her, she met Jesus. She found out that salvation is of the Lord, not of religion (Jonah 2:9).
The world also gives hope through
I came across an article on the New Internationalist (newint.org) that exemplifies the way the world gives peace.
They have a ten-step plan for giving you peace. Except it won’t bring peace. It’s not intended to bring peace. It’s a framework for a global communist revolution. It’s the opposite of peace.
I remind you of 1 Thessalonians 5:3:
When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.1 Thessalonians 5:3
I’m telling you that politics will not bring peace.
I could go on, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll tell you a little about
The peace that Jesus gives.
In our chapter (John Chapter 14), after distinguishing His peace from the world’s peace, Jesus says,
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.John 14:27
You see, no matter what the world does to bring quietness, unity, and rest, the world can’t transform the soul. Only Jesus can transform and transcend human nature (2 Corinthians 5:17).
In fact, we can only have peace by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14).
Jesus’ peace has no rational explanation.
Philippians 4:7 tells us that the peace of God passes all understanding. We can’t comprehend God’s peace because it’s not of this world.
In the end, Jesus gives true peace.
God says, in Isaiah
Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.Isaiah 57:19
Jesus gives real peace. His is an active peace that provides healing, restoration, and reconciliation to all who will receive it.
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