Weekly Blog - Mary Swain - Peace That Surpasses Understanding
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Posted on: 8th February 2023
Is it even possible to be at peace? With the cost of living crisis and war going on and countless worrying news stories, is it even reasonable to have a sound mind? Is it offensive to say that you are peaceful at a time like this?
I believe it is exactly in moments like this when we can experience ‘the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding’ (Philippians 4:7). If everything was blue skies ahead, it wouldn’t need to surpass our understanding! It is in chaos that this peace of God becomes real and relevant.
Jesus said, ‘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.’ (John 16:33) Jesus says that we will have trouble in this world. Peace doesn’t mean getting rid of all the disruption – it means having a steadfast mind in the middle of it all because we know who God is. This peace comes from fixing our minds on Jesus because He is peace personified. After all, Jesus is described as the ‘Lord of peace’ (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
I think it takes faith and action on our part to experience this peace in the midst of chaos. To take a slightly tangential example, in Psalm 73, the psalmist was envious and angry at another person. However, it was only when he entered God’s presence that he gained perspective and clarity. ‘Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.’ (Psalm 73:17) In the sanctuary, in the presence of God, he could see things from God’s viewpoint.
I believe this is true of many emotions we experience. If we are worried or anxious or uneasy, it is so easy to get caught up in these feelings, but when we enter into the presence of God, He brings clarity and peace. Spending time with God in the secret place means we become rooted in God and gain proper perspective: heaven’s perspective.
Jesus says, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.’ (John 14:27) The Bible shows that we can experience peace, here and now: it’s our inheritance!