Peace That Makes No Sense


“‘All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.'” John 14:25-27 NIV.

It’s no wonder Jesus did not give up on His disciples! He knew that the Holy Spirit would do the job when the time came.

Everything He taught them was in seed form. The Word of God is seed. When it is sown in the soil of the heart, it will grow when the conditions are right. There was so much Jesus had to teach them but it would be a progression of experiences and understanding through the Holy Spirit’s ministry that would bring them to maturity as time went on.

God is never in a hurry. It takes time for an oak tree to grow. It was His determined purpose to cultivate “oak trees”, people who were strong and stable so that they would be witnesses to Jesus, putting Him on display as their lives were progressively made whole through His grace at work in them.

“(He will) provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendour.” Isaiah 61:3 NIV.

The word Jesus used for the Holy Spirit, translated Advocate or Helper is an interesting one — in the Greek, parakletos, meaning one who is called alongside. The Christian life is viewed in Scripture as a journey — hence it was originally called “The Way” (Acts 9:2). As one walks, the burdens of life cause one to totter and lean to one side or the other, making one’s walk unstable and often pushing one off the path.

The Holy Spirit is “called alongside” to help shoulder the burden so that one can walk upright instead of leaning over and losing one’s footing or leaving the path. A beautiful picture of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the believer! He does not judge or accuse — that is the Accuser’s disposition because that is all he knows. The Holy Spirit is the strength and support God has provided to enable us to walk a straight path of righteousness and truth as He gets under the burden with us and guides us along our journey.

Apart from the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ greatest gift to His people is the gift of His peace. The disciples had watched Him through the years when He was insulted, maligned and falsely accused by His opponents, without ever seeing in Him a glimmer of revenge or retaliation. He spoke the truth to them and allowed the truth to be their judge. They had seen Him live a life of serenity and peace in the midst of every kind of storm. And now He was assuring them that they would experience His peace — not the kind of “peace” offered by the world.

What kind of peace does the world give? The best that comes from the world is the ‚Äúpeace” that happens when there is a temporary lull in our unpredictable circumstances. We enjoy it while we can because we know it will not last. We know that our circumstances can change at the drop of a hat, plunging us once again into worry, anxiety, fear and frustration.

Jesus’ peace is not dependent on circumstances but rather on our standing in God. His death for us removes the reason for our alienation from the Father and we are now able to rest in His love for us, knowing that we are completely in His care. His peace provides sure footing for us because it stands on two feet: peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1) and the peace of God that surpassed understanding as we commit our circumstances to Him (Philippians 4:6, 7). It is the peace of one who knows he is not an orphan but a son.

In the midst of the turmoil they were about to be plunged into, His disciples had His promise that His peace would be their strength and support no matter what happened. Whether they experienced it right then or not is uncertain but the days were coming when they would face their own “Calvary”. By that time they would have made their acquaintance with the Holy Spirit and learned to rest in Him in the storms and experience the unearthly peace that makes no sense outside of Jesus but is real anyway.

And how much they needed it, and so do we!

Categories: Bible Study Tags: , , ,

Luella Campbell

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