If you could have one wish for yourself, what would it be? Maybe you’d ask for freedom, romantic love, security, family, a safe home, friends, a career, education, or financial security. What if your wish could be granted, but you could not experience peace? This was my experience freshman year in college. I had all
that I had been working toward: a generous scholarship to a prestigious college, good grades and friends. Because of anxiety, I wasn’t able to enjoy any of my good circumstances or accomplishments.
Without peace, even what we dream of cannot be fulfilling. Some circumstances are more peaceful than others, but no circumstance can guarantee perfect peace.
Sometimes a desire for peace can even lead to the opposite condition. Anyone who has lived many years knows this to be true. Jesus’ promise to His disciples, that the Holy Spirit could grant unfailing peace, is so surprising and revolutionary. When Jesus is about to leave His disciples he tells them they can depend on having peace through the gift of the Holy Spirit:
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 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.
This passage is brief but it contains so much important guidance.
— The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. The Spirit’s guidance will always be congruent with Scripture and Jesus’ example.
— The Spirit can have a constant presence in our lives as comforter, teacher, and defender.
— Jesus is the The Prince of Peace. He has all access to peace and power to grant it. When He says that He will leave us and give us peace
during his absence, we can count on Him.
— Unlike the peace we experience in good circumstances, the peace Jesus gives us cannot be taken away.
I became a Christian a few months after my freshman year in college ended and experienced the most amazing peace. I clearly remember the moment
when I went from extreme anxiety to the perfect peace of Jesus. This was a peace that I had hoped and prayed for, but I did not make it happen — that was 100% clear to me. Only God could have given me that peace. The Holy Spirit had a lot to teach me after I had that experience, and I had so much to learn.
Finding consistent peace was a process. The Holy Spirit has been a faithful and gentle guide throughout the many years since that time.
(Note. Seeing a doctor about recurring anxiety has also been a tremendous help for me, The Holy Spirit can work through a variety of means!)