The Peace of God

When we read our papers, or listen to the radio or watch the television news, there seems to be nothing but trouble everywhere. We hear of conflicts and rumours of wars. We hear of disagreements between peoples, protests and riots, outright hatred and mistrust. Then there are earthquakes, famines, droughts, floods and plagues.

It’s enough to send anyone spiralling into despair.

Then on a personal level, we all have seasons of difficulties. We all go through periods of loss and deep grieving. Many of us endure times of ill-health, either personally or as a family. From time to time we have financial struggles and challenges regarding work or career. It is times like these that God can seem so distant. We struggle to pray or read the Bible. Take heart; you are not alone. The struggle is real.

Jesus had many encouraging words for his disciples and followers, including us. We read:

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

Jesus said these encouraging words because his disciples struggled to understand what he was teaching. They struggled to understand the concept that he claimed to be the Son of God. They couldn’t fully grasp that he was, indeed, the Messiah. He acknowledged that they would be faced with troubles. This is common to everyone, both in Jesus’ time and now and throughout history.

What does this mean in practice, in our everyday lives? Even in the midst of troubles, in the turmoils of life, in its tragedies and challenges, we can put our trust in Jesus. We can rest in that inner peace that can only come from knowing that Jesus has everything under his control. Take heart. I have overcome the world.”

˄TH

Cranbourne Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. Photo: T. Hampel