In today’s culture, a word that gets thrown around is the word “peace,” most often used in the context of conflict or violence. It conjures up a picture of Hippies flashing peace signs as they protested the war, nations sitting down at a table to sign a peace accord (that will not last) to stop the fighting, someone being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, or maybe friends trying to make peace after an argument. We want to dig into another kind of peace, the kind of peace that only comes from Jesus.
We are not talking about the “lack of conflict or violence” kind of peace that is represented by two warring nations signing a treaty to stop their fighting, Hippies flashing peace signs, or friends working through their differences. We are talking about an inner peace that brings calmness and a sense of safety in the midst of a raging storm. A good illustration is found in Mark 4:35-40 where Jesus is sleeping despite the raging storm that appears to be sinking the boat He is on. Here is that story as written in The Message.
Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?” Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
You can have that kind of peace in the midst of whatever storm you are facing today, whether that storm is a gentle rain or a relentless deluge. That peace only comes by trusting in Jesus and trusting that Jesus is in control. It does not come by relying on people, places or things, because they will eventually fail us. Or put another way, real inner peace does not come by replacing your old worn out umbrella with a bigger oversized one to shield you from the rain. You know what we mean – that new big oversized umbrella only works until a bigger gust of wind comes along and turns your spiffy new umbrella inside out and you find yourself soaking wet once again. So to prepare for the storms of life, it is good to have an umbrella, and it is even better to have Jesus! Make it a priority this week to pray for a reassuring faith that will allow you to have a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) no matter what your current or future circumstances are.
New Bern, North Carolina