A Different Kind Of Peace
A daily devotion for July 25th
25"Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father."
29Then Jesus' disciples said, "Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God."
31"You believe at last!" Jesus answered. 32"But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
The security of these disciples rested on the ability they thought they had to understand what Jesus was saying to them. They wanted to know, and then they thought they would feel at peace.
Now we know, they said.
Now we understand. Jesus had been speaking to them in figures--the foot washing, the vine and the branches, and the woman in childbirth.
But now you're speaking to us plainly. Now we know and understand that you are indeed from God. They felt a sense of security because they understood that.
This is so like us! We think that God has to explain what we're going through and that then we'll feel secure. Our peace wants to rest upon a certain knowledge of what is happening. But our Lord is very careful to point out that this kind of peace is very insecure indeed.
Within an hour you will be running like a bunch of frightened sheep. You say you know who I am. You say you understand that I came from God and that I know all things. Do you know that within an hour's time you will be so confused and so uncertain of what is happening you will run away and leave Me alone? Rather than trusting Me to work things out, you'll forsake Me and not want to be identified with Me. And yet I'll not be alone. My security won't be threatened in that hour, for the Father is with Me. And I say this to you in order that you might know the kind of peace I have. It is not based on what happens, or even on my understanding of what happens, but upon a trust in the One who controls what happens. I say this to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you're going to have nothing but trouble--trouble at work, trouble at school, trouble in your home, trouble in your family. You'll have nothing but trouble, because that is the way this world is. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.
Isn't that an encouraging word? I have gone through times of great personal stress and deep sorrow, times of uncertainty and lack of understanding, not knowing what God was working out, perceiving Him to be working in ways that I have thought were utterly wrong, thinking He had no business doing things like this to me. And I've had to rest back upon these tremendous revelations of His Word.
You can have my peace, Jesus says,
My sense of security, which rests not in the circumstances, not in the understanding of the circumstances that we so crave, but in a confidence that the One who is guiding the circumstances knows what He is doing. That is where peace comes from.
Lord, grant that I learn to make You my source of peace rather than seeking peace from my circumstances or even my understanding of what You are doing.
Life Application: When we have trouble at work, home or elsewhere, how does it affect our attitude? Why is real peace a result of trust in the person of Jesus?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.