One of the greatest gifts given to mankind from God is the great and precious promises he left us. Over the next few weeks, we will review some of those promises as we try to unscramble the fears so many people live with on a daily basis. After the election, with uneasiness on both fronts, and months of Covid 19, if there is anything Christians and non-Christians need, it's peace.
Jesus said, "My peace I leave with you... not as the world gives peace..." (John 14:27). Jesus was very clear in his description of the peace he gives. He says it is not a peace that we understand "as in not worrying or having concern over what our world is facing", but it's a peace that passes all understanding. It's inner peace in spite of circumstances.
Is 54:10 (LVT) says, For the mountains may depart and the hills disappear, but my kindness shall not leave you. My promise of peace for you will never be broken, says the Lord who has mercy upon you.
Peace that passes all understanding is a peace that gives us resilience. It's a piece that gives us strength to overcome anxiety over what's ahead or worry about an illness that seems to be hiding behind every corner just ready to jump on us. With Covid 19, there is so much mystery. If it gets you, you don't know if you'll be ill at all or sick enough to die. There's a lot of anxiety over the mystery and unknown caused by this virus that has a mind of its own. It has no rhyme or reason. Our job during this disturbing time is to hang onto God's promises concerning inner peace in spite of the circumstances surrounding us.
He promises peace in the fire. Peace in the flood. Peace in the storm. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not afraid to step into the fire because they knew peace that passes all understanding. (Daniel 3:19). Their peace was a gift from God; one beyond human understanding.
He promises peace when the waters come in like a flood saying he will build up a standard against it, protecting you and keeping you. It's a peace that promises you'll be kept safe and protected. He promised peace in the storm and proved it to the disciples when an unexpected storm came up and Jesus was asleep in the boat. Expert fisherman who spent their life on the water had become desperate because there was nothing that they could do to control their boat in the dangerous storm. When they woke Jesus up, he gave two commands. The first was, "Peace." He wasn't telling peace to be still as we often hear read from scripture. To me, I believe he simply spoke to the storm with a one-word command: "Peace". Just as you'd say "sit" to your dog, he said "peace" to the storm. And, he expected the storm to obey. Then he backs it up with a second command: "Be still".
In life, things happens to upset the cart. Someone does something to upset you. You watch the news and never know how true it is. They tell us only what evokes anger or fear. You may be dealing with your own illness or with the job of caregiver. You may have Covid 19 and don't know how that's going to pan out. It's overwhelming. Life has many tough roads.
The reality is that life happens to us all. But the peace God promises will get us through those trying times. Peace is not a state of perfect calmness. Instead, it's a faith that you'll get through your tough times on top.
God may not zap us with perfect health and he may even allow us to personally experience Covid, but he'll carrying us through Covid, cancer, diabetes, and all the other diseases of mankind. Peace that God gives us is an understanding that, in the end, all things will work together for our good. That's a great and precious promise. "Let not your heart be troubled", Jesus said.
Go, wake up Jesus who seems to be asleep in your boat. Grab hold of His promise of peace. Don't expect a "no struggle life", but do expect Jesus to wake up when you call on him.
We live in a messed-up world, but God promises to be in the midst. He promises his presence will not leave you. He is called El Shaddai. And, El Shaddai primarily means he is the strengthener and satisfier of his people. The struggle is real, but so is the promise of his presence. By faith we hold to one of the best gifts God has given us: peace that passes all understanding. If we have peace with God, we can have peace of God.
Final note: I wrote the above article two days before Covid got its fangs in me. As I get through this virus, I'm so glad God has given the promise of "peace that passes all understanding" to his children. Peter called it "exceeding great and precious promises".