“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
Jesus is speaking to the disciples about how the hour has come, and He is going to a place they cannot follow. They are seemingly distraught and rightfully so! Think about it. These disciples dropped everything to follow Jesus. It is believed that Jesus’ ministry lasted for about 3 years and these men have not left His side (figuratively speaking) for 1,095 days. They have witnessed amazing miracles, grown in their faith, and soaked up every bit of teaching Jesus could have given them. If I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t want that to end either.
BUT, it had to end. It absolutely had to end at some point because there was a bigger picture that needed to be fulfilled. You and I couldn’t have the salvation we have unless Jesus’ ministry ended. We couldn’t study from the gospels what Jesus did here on earth if it didn’t end. I feel for the disciples, but I am so glad it ended.
I have a hard time when things end in my life, and I always have. Change is never easy whether it is good or bad. The initial shock can send you spiraling down into a deep pit of emotion. I think of the most recent change in my life with switching schools for work. It has been beyond hard, but God’s grace and strength is bigger than my circumstances. Ben Courson once said, “Don’t tell your God how big your mountain is; tell your mountain how big your God is.” And how true is that? We need to remember how BIG our God is. And let’s face it- change in our lives can look like Mount Everest from a human perspective. But, I have relied more on the Lord for wisdom and strength in the last 2 months than I have in the past year. God knew I needed change, even if I didn’t want it. And He will always empower you to accomplish what He has called you to do.
Jesus is speaking to His disciples because He knows their world is about to flip upside down. He has been predicting His death for awhile now, but it is all coming to fruition. He is finally about to walk the path of a brutal crucifixion, so He can live in communion with all of His children. Obviously, the disciples didn’t see the big picture yet, but they could hang on every word of Jesus during this time. And their Teacher gives them an outline of exactly what to do.
Trust. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (verse 1). Jesus says if we only believe in Him, we have absolutely nothing to worry about. Have faith and trust that the Lord is working on your behalf. He continues on through verse 14 of how our belief in the one true Savior can accomplish much more than we could ever imagine.
Obey. “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (verse 15). We just learned His new commandment from the previous chapter: love one another as Jesus loves. But, Jesus doesn’t stop there. We are not left alone with these instructions – He promises us the Holy Spirit, who will lead and guide us if we allow Him to rule over our hearts. Loving Jesus will conjure an automatic response to obey the Holy Spirit. The more we love, the more we obey.
So, His directions seem to be pretty straight forward, right? Have faith in Him, and obey His commandments. As a result of trusting and obeying, the disciples (and you and I) will experience peace. Not the peace the world has to offer, but true, lasting peace (verse 27). A peace that surpasses understanding (Phil. 4:7).
Friends, I know this is much easier said than done. But, as we study God’s word, we are teaching ourselves about His character and it becomes easier to trust and easier to obey. Rely on the Holy Spirit for wisdom, conviction, strength, power, peace, and anything else you need. He will provide. And how amazing it will be to go to the place Jesus has prepared for us and to experience the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in our true home: Heaven. Praise Jesus.
be free. xo