Peace in Life Changes

Excerpted From

How God Loves Us

By Jessica Thompson

Peace in Life Changes

If you have ever had a best friend tell you she was moving away, or heard your beloved pastor explain to the congregation that he has taken a job somewhere else, or had a family member explain why they can no longer stay in the city where you live, then you know the deep, gut-wrenching sorrow of loss of relationship. You may tell yourself and each other that nothing will change, that you will still stay in touch, that you will continue to make the relationship a priority. But you both know. You both know life will crowd out the space you wanted to create for the relationship. You both know things will inevitably be different.

The disciples were experiencing that gut-wrenching anticipation of loss as Jesus was explaining that He had to leave them (John 14). Although, truthfully, they had no idea the pain that awaited them. They didn’t understand where Jesus was going or why they couldn’t go with Him. Peter pressed Christ, asking if he could come with Him and promising he would follow Him anywhere even if it cost him his life. But Jesus told him again that separation was imminent. Can you imagine the confusion the disciples felt? They had centered their entire lives on being with Jesus because He had asked them to. They left jobs. They left families. They’d given everything to be close to Him; now He was telling them He was leaving.

The lovely part of Christ’s character demonstrated in this narrative is that He didn’t just say, “I am leaving. Suck it up. God is in control. It will be fine.” He offered them something better; He offered them who He is. He tells them over and over again that He understands and sees their pain. He sees their truest need, and He promises to take care of them. He reminds them who He is and who God is. Then He says this: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful” (John 14:27). Jesus leaves His peace with them.

What the disciples didn’t understand is that the peace Jesus was promising them could only be fully theirs if He left them. He had to go do what He was born to do. He had finished part of His quest by spending thirty-three years doing everything to please His Father. Now He had this one last part to finish. He had to die to obtain the peace He desired to give the disciples. He wanted to give them an eternal peace, not peace like the world gives, not a temporary distraction from the real problem. He desired to take care of their deepest problem once and for all.

Our eternal peace only comes at Christ’s expense, and He willingly gave His all so we can experience this peace. Our sin earned war with God; Christ’s death earned peace with God. Christ’s death not only gives us peace with God, but it gives us peace with others and with ourselves. We no longer must fight to justify ourselves to others or to ourselves. The cross has said it all, and the resurrection proves that our great King has welcomed us into His family.

Today, as you are inevitably aware of all the different peace-robbers in your life, come back to our verse in John 14. Hear the words of your Savior to each of His disciples (including you). His peace is yours. His peace is different. His peace is better. His peace is eternal.

Excerpted from How God Love Us: 40 Days to Discovering His Character in the Fruit of the Spirit by Jessica Thompson (© 2022). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission.