Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.John 14:27, New International Version
Where do you find hope and peace? Hope and peace that surpasses all understanding? What does that even mean? Is it in the manger? Is it in a star? Is it in the Wise Men?
Let me share with you a scripture that has drastically changed my focus. Every. Moment. Of every. Single. Day!
John 14:27 (The Message): I am leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left – feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.
I dissected that verse and rewrote it with the definitions of the words that stuck out to me…
Peace, a calm and quiet state of mind, I leave with you to have as a reminder. My peace I freely transfer to you, to take possession of. I do not give to you as the world gives, in the moral sense. Do not let your hearts, the centermost part of your thoughts and feelings, be troubled, beset by problems or conflict, or distress/anxiety. Do not be disturbed or agitated. Do not be afraid, fearful or anxious, or worried that something uncertain or undesirable will occur or be done.
Do you see how knowing the definition of each word changes the meaning of scripture and application in your life?
As we reflect on the birth of Christ during this Advent season, let us remember that Christ came to give life, peace and hope to a dying and troubled world. It is the kind of peace that Jesus offers that will carry us through. He says, “Peace. MY Peace, My PERFECT Peace”—total well-being and inner rest of spirit in fellowship with God. All true peace is God’s gift that came with the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.
The peace that Jesus gives is the kind that sustains you in the middle of your pain. In the middle of your crisis. In the middle of your chaos. In the middle of your worry. In the middle of your sadness. In the middle of your grief. In the middle of your… everything.
Peace answers to the Shalom. It signifies prosperity, health of soul, serenity, farewell. This is the sacred bestowment and divine legacy of the Lord. Peace is always the result of our balance with the Lord. So, the peace that Christ leaves is the power to hold the wildest fear in pause and still the chaos. Christ is going through his own chaos and conflict when he says, “My peace, I leave with you.” He pours out THE love of a lifetime through these words.
My husband, Bob, and I have been married for 17 years. We are both pastors in full-time camp ministry, and we have 6 children, one of whom we adopted at the age of 2. We have literally been through the wringer the last 6 months! Bob retired from Pastoral Ministry after 35 years and we are now having to choose a new church community for the first time in 17 years, we’ve moved twice, had staffing issues, and we’ve been through a devastating event with our adopted daughter.
Our faith and this verse are the only things that have helped me/us hold it all together. I have had to say it out loud to remind myself that my peace does not come from anything other than Christ. Sometimes, I have to say it repeatedly. When my mind begins to wander and worry, I say it again. “My peace I leave with you. MY peace I give to you.” Oh, how the definition changes everything. And, it truly does surpass my human understanding.
So, I ask you again, where does your hope and peace come from?
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your precious son, Jesus. Thank you for being with me at all times. Help me to overcome my limitations. Give me the courage to face my fears and insecurities head on and renew my thoughts and replace my fear with your peace and hope. Increase my strength and lift my gaze. Lord, help me to keep my eyes upon you and the call you have placed on my heart and in my life. Lord, help me to share the good news of Peace and Hope that all can find through your Son. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Kathi Terrell lives in Prescott, AZ
I am a dog breeder of little white fluffies, aka Malagasy Coton de Tulears, and I love puppies. I identify as a Fearless Fiasco Fixer!