Originally posted Jul 2011 “A Peace That Surpasses All Understanding”
Some time ago I read a story of two artists who were commissioned to do individual paintings depicting their idea of peace. One artist painted a very tranquil, beautiful, and serene scene; perhaps one similar to the photo shown below.
The other painted a very rapid and dangerous waterfall. At the very edge of the waterfall was a tree with one of its branches hanging over the edge, where the leaves were misted by the fast moving waters below. In this overhanging branch lay the nest of a sparrow with its young inside, seemingly oblivious to the roaring noise, the crashing waves, and other inherent dangers around.
How do you view peace? Is peace for you the absence of all conflicts, the absence of all trials, those moments of quiet, relaxation, and tranquil? If this is your idea of peace then you are living in the physical and not the spiritual. Peace is of the Lord – it is ever present in all situations. It is not a fleeting feeling that ebbs and flows with the waves of tribulations.
In the Book of Mark we see Jesus along with his disciples on a ship crossing a lake to get to the other side. While they were a sea a heavy storm came up with waves so high that they broke over into the ship, causing it to be full of water. Can you imagine such a frightful and terrifying scene, yet Jesus was asleep in the stern of the ship on a pillow. The disciples woke him up, I imagine shouting over the roaring sea and also out of fear, saying “Master, we are sinking! Do you not care?” Jesus awoke and not only did he speak to the sea saying “Peace, be still” but he also rebuked the waves.
How do you handle the storms of life that many times come out of nowhere to sink or derail your journey? Do you rebuke the waves, or do you cower in fright not knowing the source of your strength, authority, and peace?
Jesus didn’t calm the waves for himself, He was fast asleep in the stern of the ship. He was at peace amidst all the turmoil around him. So my friends, when all around the nations of the world are entering into peace treaties, when others are seeking to promote world-peace, know that this type of peace is of the world and has no lasting benefits, because true peace is gained only in having a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. True peace is obtained only in knowing that He is your ONLY source of peace and having your mind firmly fixed on Him because you trust Him . When your heart is at peace, though there are storms all around, you are able to rebuke the waves because your sufficiency is not in yourself but in the Lord Jesus and his finished work.
Jesus said in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
and in Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed [steadfast, firmly fixed] on you, because he trusts in You. ESV
Father, Abba, we give you thanks and praise for imparting your peace to us. A peace that is so beyond the realm of human understanding that gives guard to our hearts and thoughts. Thanks for your everlasting love, grace, and enduring mercies, in Jesus’ name. Amen.