When my children were very young, I remember stepping outside for a moment to take a breath of fresh air and then crying out to God with an exhale of, “I have no peace!” While this may sound fairly common, yet quite relatable, to every mom of preschoolers, it was a profound moment of both diagnoses and revelation.
For months I had been wrestling with anxious thoughts and feelings of depression, not being able to pinpoint the source of my despair. In a moment of desperation, my deep inhalation provided the heart cry that answered months of knee-bending prayer.
I have no peace.
Friends, perhaps you can relate in your own set of circumstances? Peace is a term our culture tends to flippantly throw around, but when the peace of God is absent in our lives, we tend to experience unrestrained thoughts and unbridled emotions. Without His peace, we become reckless and can allow our circumstances to spin us out of control.
The peace of God helps us pump the brakes before we crash and burn.
Jesus tells us in John 16:33 (ESV), “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
To paraphrase, if you choose Christ, you are invited into His peace, but if you only choose the things of this world, you will only have trouble.
As you might know, Jesus had said a lot of things before John chapter 16! Still, he emphasizes his previous teachings and why he said these things—to provide a peace that the world does not offer.
The words and teachings of Christ are significant because He is the Word and it is only in Him that we inherit this supernatural peace.
When we live in the world according to the world’s standard of peace, we will have trouble with anxious thoughts and feelings of depression. We will carry around the heavy load of conflicted minds and burdened hearts.
But Jesus says “take heart” because He is the Overcomer!
The phrase take heart means to take courage, be confident, certain, and undaunted. However, it is only in Christ that we become any of these things because He has won the war against our souls.
Jesus is telling us to be certain that in the world we will have trials and frustrations, but to be even more certain that with the peace that only He provides, we will overcome the tribulations of life.
Jesus overcame the world and the devil by taking on and suffering through the cruelty of the crucifixion. Likewise, we become overcomers when the peace of Christ rests gently upon our hearts and minds and steadily guides us through the storms of life.
My children are all teenagers now, and peace is one thing I have watched allude them during a global pandemic. I must remember the diagnosis and the revelation the Lord gave me all those years ago, and how He led me back to the source of true peace.
We can teach our children and encourage our friends and family with the promise of the Overcomer. As John 16:33 reads in the AMPC translation, “For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”
The peace of Christ protects, provides and prevails. May we all claim His perfect peace and pump the brakes before we crash and burn. Or open up the window and take a deep breath of fresh air.