“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT)
Everybody thinks they have the key to peace of mind — or at least they want you to think so, so you’ll buy their product. I saw an ad for a perfume the other day called “Peace” perfume. The ad promised, “Wear it to feel serenity.” Now, folks, if it were that easy, it would be great — just put on a little perfume, and you’ll have peace of mind.
Peace of mind is such an important concept in life that people will do almost anything to find it. They will travel to exotic places at great expense. They will sniff a brain-destroying drug up their nose. They will experiment with New Age rituals. They will try all kinds of things.
But the truth is, very few people in this world are at peace with themselves. Most people carry a high degree of stress, anxiety, or tension in their lives. As a pastor, I have noticed that there are three things that tend to rob our peace:
When circumstances are uncontrollable, we often lose our peace. Much of life is beyond your control. You sit in gridlock traffic for hours and miss an important event. A couple keeps trying desperately for a baby, and it just isn’t happening. When these things — big or small — happen, we get frustrated and lose our peace of mind.
When people are unchangeable, we tend to lose our peace. People naturally resist change. And they resent it when we try to change them. The quickest way to lose our peace of mind is to try to change somebody else, because most people are just not going to change.
When problems are unexplainable, it’s easy to lose our peace. We know that life is not fair. Not everybody has a happy ending. Things don’t always turn out right. What makes it more difficult is that we are not always going to know why. And when we don’t know why, we tend to get anxious, nervous, and stressed, and we lose our peace.
God has promised peace of mind, because it’s a fundamental need of your life. One of the Hebrew names of God is Jehovah Shalom. “Shalom” means peace. “Jehovah Shalom” means “I am the God of peace.” Jesus says in John 14:27, “I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (NLT).
If God says, “I’m offering you a gift of peace,” he means it. It’s not something you work for. It’s not something you deserve. It’s not something you try for. You don’t beg for peace. You don’t plead for peace.
Peace has nothing to do with problem-free living. It is simply a gift that you must accept, and it’s available to you today.
Talk It Over
What are the uncontrollable circumstances that have robbed your peace lately?
Why do you think God allows us to have problems?
What are the results of living in peace?