Associate Life Groups Director at Bayside of Citrus Heights
I first recognized the uneasiness and restlessness of my heart when I was young. I don’t remember a time when I had peace in my inner being. I think this is the reason I love the name Prince of Peace. It resonates deep inside my soul as one of my greatest desire and needs. The incredible thing about this is I didn’t even know I really wanted it until I had it. Looking back, I see how I never truly possessed peace. Even as a Christian, I have struggled to find lasting peace, because I was looking in the wrong place for it.
“Even as a Christian, I have struggled to find lasting peace, because I was looking in the wrong place
In today’s culture, the word peace gets tossed around often. I wish there were peace in the Middle East. Why can’t we just live in peace with each other? Peace on Earth. If you were a child of the sixties, it was “Peace man.” So what does peace mean? Webster’s dictionary defines it as, “A state of tranquility or quiet: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions, freedom from civil disturbance. Tranquility in a community.” That sounds really good, right? I read that definition, and I feel this deep primal longing for that very thing. So where do we find peace?
The world believes peace is based on circumstances. If this weren’t happening, or if there wasn’t all this war I would have peace. If bad people didn’t do bad things, if shootings wouldn’t take place, and terrorism wasn’t a real thing, then I would have peace. This line of thinking is utterly contrary to the peace Jesus promises. He brings peace to the innermost being of a person regardless of what’s happening around them.
“He brings peace to the innermost being of a person regardless of what’s happening around them.”
One of the most refreshing promises in the New Testament comes from John 14:27 where Jesus says, “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.” (NIV) This peace is bigger than circumstances, but there is a catch. You must receive it. Sounds silly or a little oversimplified, right? Have you ever tried to give someone a gift who was in need and they refused to accept it? I have, and it is just baffling. The person needed it, and I was willing to give it to them, but they had so much pride they refused to accept it. The same is true for us. We so desperately want and need peace, but we refuse to do what is necessary to receive it. Maybe the gift illustration is an over-simplification, but you get my drift. I have to receive the gift of peace Jesus wants to give me.
The question is; how do I go about receiving it? The key is to stop the rat race and be still with Christ. Seriously, pause the pace. Peace is never found going one hundred miles an hour down the freeway. My life and mind go at a blistering pace most of the time, and this is when I find that I have most unrest in my soul. I need to stop all of what I am doing and be still with God. I need to pray and read his love letter to me. These are crucial to my life. Peace is an awesome thing. This advent my encouragement to any reading this would be to carve out some time in the chair with Jesus to be still and be grateful for the gift of his son.