My Peace I Give To You; Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled

6 Sep

As a Christian, there is a kind of peace I experience that is far above and beyond what this world can offer. It is “a peace that passes understanding,” as the apostle Paul would say…and it is mine in Christ. It is the kind of peace that remains even when things aren’t going my way. Ironically, it’s the kind of peace that holds up in the most chaotic of circumstances. It’s a personal peace with God and others that I enjoy because of the Gospel, and I am eternally indebted to God for that.

But what bearing does my personal peace have for your life? Does it matter that I enjoy this very intimate and personal peace? Are there any consequences to not having this person peace?

Piper wrestled with this question in a sermon he recently preached on John 14: 25-31 entitled “My Peace I Give To You; Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled,” and touched on it again in this sermon. Essentially the answer is this, my personal peace with God affects your life. And so it follows that your personal peace with God affects my life and the lives of those around you.

We see numerous examples of this in Scripture. Think of the Thessalonians. News of their faith in Christ (which subsequently means peace with God) sounded forth and was an encouragement to an entire region of believers. Imagine that. An entire region of Christians simply heard about the faith these other Christians had, and they were encouraged. Even the apostle Paul himself was encouraged by the faith of these believers. And think about young Timothy and how the sincere faith of his mother and grandmother affected his life. Little did these two women know that their personal peace with God would affect generations of Christians to come!

Now, this means that the opposite must be true as well. If we lack personal peace with God we are still going to have an effect on the world around us, only it won’t encourage – rather it will tear down and destroy. You see this clearly in the world around us – terrorism, mass murders, broken families, immorality. All of it is rooted in hearts that do not know the peace of God. People like to pretend that what goes on in a person’s heart really doesn’t matter. But it does. Remember what Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matt. 15:19).

Our personal peace matters, and I would challenge you in particular Christian to strive to enjoy that personal peace with God on a daily basis. Think of how the Lord used the faith of the Thessalonians and of Timothy’s mother and grandmother and be encouraged. Be encouraged to think that God uses us in ways that we can’t even imagine. And at the same time be sobered by the reality of what our lack of peace can accomplish in the lives of those around us.

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