Hi Rob here. We’ve just had a long weekend here in New Zealand. Thanks to the generous hospitality of friends our family enjoyed a couple of nights on the Coromandel Peninsula, near Whitianga. This is a stunning part of the country. There are beautiful beaches, bush walks, amazing views, good fishing for those so inclined and a great sense of tranquility. You are definitely out of the rat race in that part of the world. Yesterday I was walking on the beach, looking out to the ocean, when I was almost overwhelmed by the deep peace that lies within the heart of God.
By peace I mean that God is settled within himself. There is no self-doubt, no inner turmoil, no fear or worry or anguish. God – Father, Son and Spirit – is a settled community of oneness, filled with love, grace and purpose. Through the work of Jesus we are now invited to share in that peace.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27).”
“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).”
“…Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’…Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you!’…Jesus came and stood among then and said, ‘Peace be with you!'” – John 20:19, 21, 26.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand (Romans 5:1-2).”
“For he himself is our peace…He came and preached peace to you who are far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit (Ephesians 2:14, 17).”
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts… (Colossians 3:15).”
“Grace and peace to you from him who is and who was and who is to come… (Revelation 1:2).”
These are just a few examples of how, through his cross, resurrection and ascension, Jesus brings us into the peace, the settled-ness, that he and the whole Godhead share. Peace is not passivity though. God is still wild at heart! But he’s not crazy, not frantic. He is full of purpose. He is a warrior who defeats the forces of evil. He is love in action and redeeming grace. He is creative and brilliant. He is playful, joyful and merciful. Being filled with peace serves as the basis of his activity in the world. Imagine if all our actions came from a deep wellspring of peace and settled-ness within us! That would be life-giving wouldn’t it? That would be freedom and joy wouldn’t it? I think so. Today I am asking Jesus for a full measure of his peace within me and the defeat of everything that opposes it. I pray the same for you.