For He is [Himself] our peace
This morning I awoke with a tremendous burden for the Body of Christ. As I lay in my bed meditating, many things passed through my mind. Neighboring cities in the United States and others across the globe have experienced violent devastations. What once was a common daily schedule ending in a relaxing weekend with family and friends is now gone.
In my own city people have experienced devastation in a different form. They enter The Miracle Center where I work part time, stopping in to buy soft-used goods, which helps support the ministry for a faith-based transitional housing program. The building, positioned on a corner lot, gets a lot of traffic. I call it a “city on a hill” or a “candle of the Lord.” For those who don’t have money to purchase items, we bless them with whatever they need. But who are these people? They are God’s sheep.
Over time I’ve become familiar with the faces and the conversations. Some have glorious testimonies. Yet some are sick—troubled and lonely and or in dire need of counsel and direction. Others, sadly, are lost. Life has dealt many of them an unfair hand, which in turn has invaded their peace.
A Calm for the People of God
Much is happening in our world, both near and far. We hear its shakings and turbulence. From immorality to violence, sickness, and disease to hunger and homelessness; from earthquakes and fires to hurricanes and floods, war, and death. We are pressed in on every side. Everything bombards our minds through TV news and social media to keep us focused on the happenings around us. It can be unsettling, which lends itself to the struggles of casting our cares upon the Lord and leaving them there. Many are afraid, desperate for some sign of peace. But how is it possible for the believer in turmoil to experience peace?
Let’s redirect our minds and focus on peace personified: Christ Himself. Today, this very moment, you can have peace. In the midst of devastation and chaos there is a calm for the people of God.
He Is Our Peace
This week I was prompted by the Spirit to read the entire book of Ephesians. Paul’s writing to the Ephesians is a rich epistle, full of divine insight into God’s mind concerning Christ and His bride (the church).
I yearned deeply for revelation knowledge of these writings, and now, at week’s end, I reach for my Bible and begin reading and praying the second chapter. Awestruck, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me through verse 14, saying, “For He is our peace…” What a wellspring of comfort for the heavy heart! We would all agree that peace is what’s needed today. At this very moment many are praying for world peace. But the peace I’m speaking of is for God’s children. Christ Jesus promised peace to those who follow after Him.
Where Do You Place Your Confidence?
Jesus spoke softly, yet passionately to His disciples concerning His departure. Because they didn’t understand, their hearts were saddened, which made it hard for them to accept. In a much-needed conversation he consoled them with these words:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. - John 14:27
If Jesus left us with peace, why are we troubled? If He gave us His peace, then why do we behave as if we don’t have it?
He also promised saying:
"I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you."
This awesome promise of His presence would come by the Spirit. He is the person of Jesus dwelling in the baptized believer. What was Jesus saying? “I have to go, but I will come to you, and when I come I will remain with you in the person of the Holy Ghost. He is the Spirit of Truth who will lead you into all truth, because I will be telling Him what to say to you” (paraphrased).
Perhaps you’re thinking, “You don’t know what I’ve been through; is this peace even a reality? Is there a formula of some sort? Can it be bought with money?” Or maybe you feel there’s something you must do to earn it. The answer to these questions is “no.” It’s not about what you’ve been through, it is simply based on where you place your confidence. What do I mean? The Lord spoke to His disciples again, saying:
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
—John 16: 33 KJV
These are sobering words. But if you don’t know what Jesus has spoken, you will live in turbulence—tossed about by the things you see and hear. Listen, beloved, every believer must do his or her part in order to obtain and maintain peace. Our part is to abide in Christ. Isn’t that what He was saying? I’ve spoken these words to you that in me you might have peace. Take your eyes off your circumstances, set your mind aright, and look to Christ. In Him you will have perfected ongoing peace that surpasses all understanding. “In Him” can only mean “attached or connected to relationally.” Like a man who chooses a woman to wed and then marries her, he may have an elaborate wedding ceremony for a public witness, but after that he is now in a marriage relationship. The two have become one and now he must abide with his wife for life. In simple layman’s terms, he must stay put.
He Has Overcome
For those waiting on the world to change, wait no longer. Though He redeems individual hearts, Jesus himself predicted that the only change for the world would be for the worse. Many minds are filled with fright, but remember this. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. So when everything and everyone seems chaotic, the peace of God will keep your heart and guard you mind. Why? Because Christ is our peace. Therefore, we rest on Him and His spoken word, thus experiencing peace. Nobody chooses to suffer, but we will. Jesus says, “In this world you shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” What is Jesus saying to you and I? Those who suffer with Him will one day reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12), but those who suffer without Him will suffer again.
For He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14). Jesus is peace personified, breaking down every wall designed to destroy you.
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was great calm.
“Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Oh beloved, how often do we suffer anguish and anxiety needlessly? Joseph Scriven wrote,
Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
What a friend we have in Jesus! He who sticks closer than a brother. Yes, we have the privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
Christ calls us to think on right things: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do and the God of peace shall be with you.
“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” and declare the Old School hymn:
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ and righteousness,
I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name;
On Christ, the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand all other ground is sinking sand.
Pastor Anita Joe