Today is the second Sunday in Advent. Each Sunday traditionally looks at a key theme: the first Sunday looks at hope, the second peace, the third joy and the fourth love. So today Dave looked at the topic of peace, focussing on John 14:25-29 TNIV.
Here, the disciples were gathered in the upper room at the Last Supper. Jesus tells them that He will be leaving them, but they should not grieve as He will send the Holy Spirit to be their counsellor or advocate and He will give them His peace – not as the world gives to them. This peace is more than just the absence of war; it is a deep well-being, conveyed in the Hebrew word ‘Shalom’.
A story in the Old Testament which illustrates this kind of peace is found in 2 Kings 4:17-27 TNIV. The Shunammite woman has been hospitable towards the prophet Elisha and he has prayed for her to have a son. In this scene, however, the son dies. The woman, rather than arranging his funeral, does not even tell her husband that he has died, but instead goes to find Elisha. She tells her husband and Elisha’s servant that everything is all right, even though her natural feelings must have been deep grief and distress. She is able to display peace even in turmoil because she has confidence in Elisha and in the God he serves. Similarly, we have an anchor that will not move; we have wholeness and are at one with God, even when external circumstances may shake us. This is the kind of peace Jesus has promised us and He does not just deal with symptoms; He heals the disease!
Elisha restored the woman’s son to life. A great miracle occurred in her household, partly as a result of her confidence in God. We too can have confidence in God because so many prophecies concerning Jesus have already been fulfilled and because we are witnesses to how He transforms people’s lives. We have the presence of God with us at all times and therefore have access to peace with God and peace from God. We can have peace because we are assured that God is in control and that He loves us. Instead of complaining or moaning, we should give thanks and delight in the many opportunities God gives us to share His love.
Peace is found as we trust God and walk in faith. God has already done great things and will continue to work in our lives, in our church and in our community. His word will not return to Him void and so we can be sure that peace will triumph, heal and keep us as we walk with God.