Peace Be With You

By Pastor Nate Powell

No matter where you look in the world, there is trouble. Nearly everyone wants peace of some kind. Obviously, the peace that the pot-smoking hippie of the 60’s and the war-scarred Vietnam vet seem to be at the opposite of a political scale. One seems to seek a peace that puts aside all rules and cultural taboos, the other seems to seek a peace that waits in a future free from communism. But I think there is a common desire on the part of both the pacifist and the warrior: they long for a day that all weapons are laid down, and there is peace in the world.

What they long for is eternity. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes that God “has put eternity into man’s heart.” [Ecclesiastes 3:11] There is an innate knowledge and longing for what is to come outside of this flesh, this time, and the confines of this life. We long for God’s peace. But what we want in this life, we will not have in the tangibles senses in which we want it. That peace will truly only be achieved when the forces of evil are vanquished on the day of Jesus’ return. Until then, we will have trouble. Jesus promises that for all of us in John 16:33: “In the world you will have tribulation.” We can count on it, that until the end of time, trouble with surround us, conflict with happen, battles and wars will rage. But Jesus goes on to remind us “take heart; I have overcome the world.” This is why he says these things to us, “so that we [his followers] may have peace.”

The peace of Jesus Christ is not always an external peace in this life. It can be. He can heal wounds between families, between brothers or between enemies. But his peace that he promises to each believer in this passage is a deep and abiding peace that we encounter thru the presence of the Holy Spirit. It’s not some “peace” of which the hippies spoke but never realized. It’s beyond a peace which is simply a laying down of arms. It’s a knowledge that when we are in Jesus, when his words abide in us, we have peace with God. His Spirit is living in us and guiding us.

That’s why I’m thrilled to be offering both of our support groups on Monday nights. GriefShare is a wonderful group where grieving people find support that they need to process their grief, and continue in their grieving process. DivorceCare is a new support program we are offering where individuals who are divorced or separated can find support to get thru this difficult period in their lives. I love both of these programs, because they are pointing people toward finding peace. But it is not a vague peace that the world offers. We are pointing people toward our only source of true hope and peace in life and death, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ has given us his peace so that we may share it with others. I hope you’ll be praying for our church in these days and as we share the good news of the peace he brings that sticks with us thru the most difficult of days. Remember and cling to His words: “Take heart; I have overcome the world.”

May His peace go with you this week,

Pastor Nate Powell