Lessons from John 14: The Promised Peace of the Holy Spirit
The Promised Peace of the Holy Spirit~John 14:27-31
Finally, Jesus paused for just a minute. He looked into the eyes of His disciples who were probably very confused and unsettled, not quite sure about everything that was about to happen. And Jesus comforted them with His promise of peace.
He said, in verse 27, “Peace I leave with you.” Not just any peace. No, Jesus said “My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.”
We see and hear many promises of peace in this world and yet there is no fruit of this empty promise. Because the world can’t give what it doesn’t own.
The word for peace that Jesus used here translates shalom. When interpreted correctly, it means health, contentment, friendship with God and people—“all the good things God gives His people.”
Jesus promised all those things and more. He promised the peace He had. Jesus always had peace and He always exemplified peace, including when He faced His certain death by way of suffering on the cross.
In James 1:2-4 believers are taught to, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
What James is saying is yes, you are going to face trials; you are going to suffer for your faith, How can we expect not to? If Jesus was not immune to suffering, why should we be?
But the good news is we don’t suffer alone. We can have peace in the midst of difficult situations, knowing and trusting that God is working these things out for His glory and our greater good. And that greater good He says is that we may become more mature in our faith. We may be found complete, lacking nothing on the day that Jesus returns.
Paul was a great example of this. Paul knew what it was to face trials of many kinds. We are told in 2 Corinthians 11 that Paul was an ambassador of Christ Jesus and a faithful servant. He worked much harder than most at his time, had been in prison frequently, been flogged most severely, and exposed to death again and again.
Five times from the Jews Paul had received forty lashes minus one. Three times he was beaten with rods, once pelted with stones, three times shipwrecked, and spent one night and a day on the open sea. And if that wasn’t enough, he had been constantly on the move.
He had faced dangers from rivers, bandits, and from his fellow Jews.He was in danger from the Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger during the day, and in danger from false believers.
Simply put, everywhere Paul went he faced trials and tribulations. There was no place that he could really rest or feel safe on this earth apart from Jesus Christ.
Paul goes on to say that he had labored and toiled. He had often gone without sleep and was no stranger to hunger and thirst. He often went without food, without clothing, having been cold and naked. Besides everything else, he says he faced the daily pressures of his concerns for all the churches.
Yet Paul says in Philippians 3:7-9, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him…”
Paul declared he had no righteousness of his own when measured up against the law of God. But instead, he had been covered in the righteousness of Christ. The righteousness that comes from God through placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul says his goal was to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. He desired to participate in His sufferings, that he might become like Christ even in His death and so attain the resurrection.
You ask, how could Paul live like this, how did he persevere?
You see, friends, Paul didn’t take His eyes off of Jesus. Not matter what situation he found himself in, no matter what the enemy tried to throw in his path, Paul kept his eyes, his mind, and his heart fixed on Jesus the author and finisher of his faith. For that is truly where he found true peace and comfort. Not as the world offers, but rather as God the Father offers.
There is no greater peace than to trust in Jesus and the promises of His Word.
So where are you fixing your eyes? What words or influences are you giving way to?
True and everlasting peace can only come through Jesus Christ. All other promises of peace are temporary at best. The only true peace is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus completed His promise with two commands of encouragement. (He began this conversation and teaching on His departure in John 14:1.) Now in verses 27-28 Jesus stated, “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. You heard me say ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”
He then stated in verses 29-30, “I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming.”
Jesus was referring to Satan who had entered into Judas Iscariot earlier. But again Jesus comforted them by telling them that the devil had no hold on Him. They would truly learn this after His death, resurrection, and ascension.
But Jesus said that the world would learn that He loved the Father and that I did exactly what His Father had commanded.
Jesus had peace! The peace of heaven! Jesus knew what He was going to face and yet He also knew Satan and death could not defeat Him or His Father’s purposes. Jesus knew that on the cross Satan’s hold on people would be broken forever. He knew God’s plan as so He did exactly what God the Father had asked of Him. And He had perfect peace in doing so.
True and lasting peace is a gift that comes from Jesus.
Jesus promised His followers His peace. Are you in the middle of a difficult situation or circumstance? Have your thoughts and emotions been turned up side down? Are you riddled with worry and concern? Is it giving you sleepless nights and leaving you feeling like there is no hope, and no way out from under it?
Jesus knows what you are facing and He promises that you are not alone.
Won’t you cast all your cares, all your worries and concerns, upon Him and ask for His peace in the middle of it all?
He who is faithful will provide. Remember, He is greater than all your problems.
Will you lay them at His feet and trust Him to lead you and guide you and provide for you? He will you know! Just ask Him!