Not as the world gives.

Peace (noun): Freedom from disturbance. A state or period in which there is no war, or war has ended; in a state of friendliness. Free from anxiety or distress.

I’ve been trying to grasp the concept of peace from a Biblical perspective. While the above definition is great, I have experienced peace in battle, peace in times of distress – peace that passes understanding. And if I can experience rest in turmoil, friendship in loneliness, and hope in anxiety — then peace must be rooted in something greater than circumstance.

Isaiah 32:17 says, “And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.”

Righteousness.

If righteousness produces peace, it therefore follows that she (or he) who has been made righteous will experience peace (Romans 5:1). But it doesn’t end there, because “for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). As a Christian, I – by default – should not only experience peace, but peace should be an effect of my actions because of what Jesus enabled me to become (righteousness). And, ultimately, peace will prevail because the enemy will be defeated (Romans 16:20, Revelation 20:10), and the God of righteousness will reign (Psalm 145:13, Revelation 11:15).

This is why Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). My redeemer gives me peace not through circumstances but through transformation; and he is so full of love for the people of my acquaintance that he equips me to cause peace wherever I go.

Jesus wasn’t deceiving anyone when he said that he does not give as the world gives. His gifts are so deep, so selfless, so life giving and transforming. What a privilege to serve a God who is this astounding.

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