Peace! It’s a simple word and an attractive ideal, but it often proves to be an elusive reality. In a world filled with trials and struggles of all kinds and magnitudes, it is easy to view peace as a state that replaces those negative circumstances. In other words, we often live in the assumption that we can have peace after this trial, after this illness, after this struggle. I was recently reminded, however, that this is not biblical peace.
The reminder came through a sermon about Jesus calming the storm for his disciples. The story is a familiar one, but my attention was grabbed by the question Jesus asked afterward: “where is your faith?” In thinking about that question, I realized that Jesus really performed this miracle as a concession to their lack of faith. While we take great comfort from His ability to calm the storm, He was actually disappointed that it was necessary. Jesus’ desire for his disciples was that they would trust Him through the storm, not beg Him to end it! As John Ortberg says, they needed to learn that “peace doesn’t come from finding a lake with no storms. It comes from having Jesus in the boat.”
That, in essence, is biblical peace. Peace is not the absence of trial, struggle or illness. Peace is the calm composure of one who is resting in God despite troubles and difficulties. One of the great and marvelous blessings of being a child of God it that we can have peace during the storm. Though you may be tempted to look forward to having peace once our storm has passed, I challenge you to trust in God and experience His peace right now.
Photo By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons