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

What do you think Jesus meant when he said “I do not give ‘Peace’ to you as the world gives”?

My NIV text note on this verse says:

The term (peace) speaks, in effect, of the salvation that Christ’s redemptive work will achieve for His disciples – total well-being and inner rest of spirit, in fellowship with God. All true peace is His gift, which the repetition emphasizes.

The world Jesus lived in during His ministry (around 30-35 AD), was a world at peace, in that there was no world war. It was a time referred to as the “Pax Romana”. Worldly peace usually means no war, or if there just had been a war, then the conquered people were either enslaved or eliminated. Winning a war or conflict is NOT like the Peace Jesus gives us.

Notice the two words or phrases that are repeated in John 14:1 and John 14:27. Jesus mentioned twice that He gives us “peace” and also says in both of these verses “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” I believe these two thoughts are linked to each other. If my heart is troubled: if my thoughts are racing to every possible horrible conclusion in any given situation, then I certainly am not at peace and I am not experiencing the peace Jesus promised in John 14:27.

One of the Holy Spirit’s roles is to give us peace in the midst of any and all circumstances. The last part of John 14:1 is the key – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” Trusting in God, in all and every circumstance we encounter in our lives is the way to experience the peace He offers us. But it requires a surrender on our part.

Only God can give us this kind of peace – the kind that sustains us in every kind of difficulty.

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 NIV

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11 NIV

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 NIV

I personally have found such comfort, help and encouragement most of my life from a group of verses in Philippians. But, after our son went home to heaven, I found that these same verses became even more meaningful – as a means of bringing peace instead of turmoil in a grieving heart. It is the Holy Spirit’s role to give us peace, but we have our part to play as well. I encourage you to read Philippians 4:4-9 in a version you enjoy. Look for the word “peace”; look for the commands given to us – things we are to do and the things we are NOT to do. I promise you, if you put into practice these commands, you will experience God’s peace. Remember the words from the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” as you listen to:

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer