Nate’s Notes — The Peace of Jesus

John 14:27 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. 

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 

 Many people play golf to get away from their problems and spend time away from it all surrounded by nature. However, golf is not always a peaceful game.

After a particularly bad round of golf, Robert was walking to the golf car park to get his Range Rover, a policeman stopped him and asked’, Did you tee off on the seventeenth hole about twenty minutes ago?’

‘Yes’, Robert answered

‘Did you happen to slice your ball so that it went over the trees and out of bounds and completely off the golf course?’

‘Yes, I did. How did you know?’ Robert questioned.

‘Well’, said the policeman gravely’, Your golf ball flew out onto the main road and crashed through the windscreen of a BMW. The car driver lost control and crashed into six other cars and a fire engine. The fire engine was unable to reach the fire in time and the building burned down.  Now, what do you intend to do about it?’

Robert thought it over very carefully and responded’, I think I’ll close my stance a little bit, tighten my grip and lower my right thumb.’

Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. If Christ is with us, then we have peace. Safety consists not in the absence of danger but in the presence of God. Peace that Jesus gives is not the absence of trouble but is rather the confidence that He is there with you always.

Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, asked, “What kind of peace does He give those who trust in Him? It is a quiet confidence that, since our sovereign, loving, all-powerful God is in control, we have nothing to fear.”

We are living in troubling times that can overwhelm us when we encounter heartbreaking news in newspapers, on television, through social media, in conversations with friends, from a phone app, or in many other ways. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, severe storms, and tornados can frighten us. Senseless shootings in businesses, churches, homes, schools, and other locales sap people of their hope.

We should not look to the world for peace. There is not a day on the earth without there being an armed conflict somewhere. Even families are torn apart by anger, selfishness, and violence. We should not bury our head in the sand and ignore the pain around us. On the other hand, constantly focusing on negativity can lead to depression or fatalism.

Regardless of our circumstances, the presence of God can give us a lasting peace. Our loving God acts in history. Jesus humbled himself first in a manger and then on a cross. When we suffer, the Lord is with us. Immanuel came to the earth to bring us forgiveness, foster hope, provide peace, and reside in us. When we face the floods of life, the anchor of our souls is there with us. When we can only see darkness and evil around us, the Light of the World is a beacon for us. We are adopted, blessed, commissioned, empowered,  matured, protected, and saved by the I Am. God does not change. Yahweh’s love never fails. Sing for joy because the Lord is in our midst. Christ’s angels are in our midst. Faith, hope, love, and peace are in our midst. The Apostle Paul expresses this eternal truth in such a beautiful way:

Romans 8:31-39 31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.  35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Prayer:  Father, thank you that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. We adore You for your mighty acts and for being our peace. We thank you that the Good Shepherd cares for us and directs us. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Nathan