Jesus’ Peace vs. The World’s Peace

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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

John 14:27

‘Tis the season when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

“For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder,

and his name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6-7

And then 700 or so years after that proclamation by Isaiah, when the child Isaiah prophesied about was born, the angels proclaimed to those shepherds that night:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Luke 2:14, KJV

Peace.

Peace is associated with Jesus. In our text at the top of this post Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.”

His disciples were distraught when he said those words, because he’s in the middle of sharing with them that he’s leaving them. They’re about to lose Jesus, and they know it. So Jesus tells them he’s going to leave, but he’s also going to leave his peace with them. His peace he gives to them.

I have a friend named Peter-John who’s a great example of someone who has Jesus’ peace. When he was in grade school he lost his mom in a car accident. When he was a teenager he lost his older sister Jessie in a car accident. When he was around 20 years old he went on a mission trip to Vanuatu and he came back looking like a survivor of Auschwitz. The reason was that during the mission trip he contracted a severe form of Crohn’s disease. As a result of his Crohn’s they had to perform colostomy surgery. But after that surgery, his battle with Crohn’s was just beginning. He had all manner of difficulties over a period of 20 years or so, including one day when he walked into the ER carrying a good portion of his intestines inside his coat. They had passed through the opening created by a previous surgery.

He said to the person checking him in, “I need some help.”

And she said, “You’ll have to take a seat.”

And he said, “I’m really sick.”

And she said, “You’ll have to take a seat.”

And then 30 feet of his intestines fell out of his coat onto the floor–so they took him into surgery.

His life wasn’t only a journey of suffering though. Along the way he married a beautiful wife and had two beautiful daughters and adopted two more beautiful daughters from Africa. Along the way he married my son and daughter-in-law. Along the way he visited me in the hospital when I had heart surgery. Along the way he taught about Jesus and wrote books about Jesus.

Then one day around three years ago I thought for sure it was over for Peter-John. He went into the hospital where it was discovered he had 27 abscesses on his brain. I was certain it was time to say goodbye. Instead he made a truly miraculous recovery.

But, just two days ago, at the time of this writing, I read a post from him on social media. It was a short post. And it said this,

“Laying in the hospital again. This time with cancer. Stage 3 or maybe 4.

“Life is tough.

“God is good.

“Jesus is Lord.”

My word, how much my friend has been through. And now stage 3 or 4 cancer. And because of the Crohn’s his treatment will be complicated at best.

But look at his post and look at his peace. He has it. He has Jesus’ peace. Not as the world has. Speaking of his peace, Jesus says, “Not as the world gives do I give to you.” The world seeks peace by attempting to change the people, environment, and circumstances around them. Peter-John’s peace doesn’t come from that. Peter-John’s peace is internal. Peter-John’s peace comes from his connection with Jesus.

I’ve had people on Twitter ask me about God’s words from Philippians chapter 4 where he says “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

“I’m hurting,” some have said to me, “yet I’m not experiencing the peace of God like it says in Philippians 4:7.”

“I’m suffering emotionally,” some have said, “but I don’t have peace like the Bible says I should in Philippians.”

I feel for these people. They’re hurting, and a big part of me wants to swoop in and take the hurt away. Of course I don’t have that kind of power, so I can’t. But here’s the the real answer to their question. Sometimes when I read Philippians 4:7, I forget the “And” at the beginning of it. The “And” makes the verse a conditional statement. Take in the entire paragraph and you’ll see what I mean:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:4-7

“Rejoice in the Lord always,” God says.

“Be known for your reasonableness,” God says.

“Pray with thanksgiving,” God says.

My friend Peter-John is such an example of this. Throughout his life I’ve observed Jesus’ peace about him. But I’ve also observed him rejoicing. And I’ve known him to be reasonable. And I’ve found him to be a man of gratitude.

“Life is tough.

“God is good.

“Jesus is Lord.”

Peter-John’s words when he learned he has cancer.

“Practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:9

Notes:

This blog post was inspired by the life and words of Peter-John Courson and a teaching by his dad Jon, Perfect Peace – Romans 5:1-5December 10, 2018

4 thoughts on “Jesus’ Peace vs. The World’s Peace

  1. Pingback: On A Personal Note — 2018 In Review | God Running

  2. Pingback: Unexpected Troubling News This Christmas | God Running

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