It is something that if honest, all of us are searching for.
Many of us find moments of peace, but struggle to find peace that remains.
Jesus said “My peace I leave with you. My perfect peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you the courage and strength for every challenge. (John 14:27 AMP)
If Jesus has left us His peace, if it has been given to us not as the world gives, it stands to reason that we should be able to find it easily, and once received there shouldn’t be any sort of risk of it departing or being taken from us.
I think there are two types of peace, one that is given for situations that we are going through in that moment, and an abiding peace that continues without us really having to think about it. Both I believe, have the same source.
In Philippians 4, Paul talks of the peace of God that passes understanding. “And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours.] (Phil 4:7 AMP)
I find it reassuring to know that I can have that sort of peace. Over the past 6 months or so, it has been abundantly evident. There has been opportunity since mum died to go to a dark place, to recede into my thoughts and lament the fact that she isn’t here anymore. I do often wish that I had spent more time talking to her, telling her that I loved her. That I am confident that she is having a much better time now than she ever was here on earth eases the pain a little. Being able to, without thinking about it much remain in a place where these thoughts do not consume my every waking moment is the sort of peace that Jesus talked about.
I can’t begin to understand it or explain it (which I recognise renders this attempt a little pointless) but it is there, and I am so thankful that it is.
I believe that the reason for this peace if found a few verses later in the same chapter. Paul says “what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Phil 4:9 ESV)
The two verses are similar, but subtly different. God gives us peace, and the way He does that is to be with us. He comes and lives with and in us through Holy Spirit. That is the only way to find that peace that remains. The only way to experience the abiding peace that transcends understanding. Looking for it in other places, such a work, money, relationships and possessions may bring transient peace, but not abiding peace, because apart from the God of peace, there is no such thing.
He wants to give us His peace. He wants to be with us.
All we have to do is ask.