When you hear the word "peace," what do you think of?
Do you think of waves crashing against the shore?
Do you imagine the wind gently blowing through the trees?
Do you see a world where there is no violence?
We can experience these types of peaceful situations for short periods, but that peace eventually turns to chaos. Comforting waves turn into destructive hurricanes overnight. The wind blowing through the trees starts to carry fire with it, burning down thousands of acres of forest. Wars break out in lands of relative peace. And, unfortunately, we see all of these things happening in America right now.
Hurricanes have displaced hundreds of families, destroying all their material belongings. Fires have swept through our land, leaving just ashes as evidence of the beauty that once stood in its place. Protests have turned to riots as peoples’ frustration is boiling over. The places we once were able to find peace are now filled with havoc. But in a world full of chaos, we do still have a chance to experience unparalleled peace.
To understand what peace is, we must first define it. Webster's dictionary defines peace as freedom from disturbance. We aren't the first people in history to deal with what seems to be an overwhelming amount of disturbance -- not by a long shot. There have been disturbances as long as there has been sin in the world! From the Fall in the Garden of Eden until now, the world has been littered with chaos. It's clear that humans can't get rid of this chaos by ourselves. In fact, we're the ones that continually create these disturbances. What humanity needs is a Deliverer, one who can free us from the chaos of this world once and for all. Luckily for us, he's already come, and he's freely available to anyone who would call upon his name, Jesus.
Before Jesus went to the cross, he took his disciples aside to prepare them for what life without him would look like. In an extended dialogue, he gave them their final instructions and ended by saying these words in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Jesus knew nothing in this world could defeat him, but he chose to overcome it unconventionally. Instead of overcoming by force, he overcame by surrender. When he told his disciples these things, he knew he would soon be arrested, mocked, beaten, and eventually killed. The world took its best shot at Jesus, but it wasn't enough. He rose from the grave and now sits exalted at the right hand of the Father. He has indeed overcome the world in every sense of the phrase.
As the Overcomer, he didn't promise to end all chaos immediately. At least, not until his return. When he returns he’ll bring his kingdom with him and establish a new earth. But, until then, he promised that in this current world we should expect trouble. And, he makes it clear that if we're trying to find peace in this world, we are searching in vain. As the world will only continue to produce troubles and disturbances.
To experience unparalleled peace in this chaotic world, we must seek our peace from the one who has overcome it. The peace Jesus offers surpasses all-natural understanding. Because Jesus has freed us from our sins, the thing that brought chaos into the world, we can now be freed from the disturbances that surround us. We must take refuge in him, and ask him to give us the peace he made available for all who calls on him. Thanks to Jesus, we can finally experience true peace.
PRAYER & REFLECTIONS FROM PASTOR ERIC:
Such a good word from, Hunter. Thank you for inspiring us to seek peace!
My prayer, “Heavenly Father, I ask you to forgive me for every time that I have seen the world’s disturbances and chaos more clearly than I have searched out your presence and abiding peace. I invite you, right now, at this very moment, to flood my heart with Heaven. I lift my hands. I surrender to you. Receive my life and my heart like a humble throne upon which you can seat your glory, as your robes of peace cloak my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”