A Gospel of Peace
Jesus is the only place you can truly find peace, no matter whether you’re facing illness, job loss, family crisis, loss of a loved one, or feeling overwhelmed by the state of things in the world.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” – John 16:33
Jesus told His disciples to share their witness of His death, burial, and resurrection. He wanted them to explain to people around the world the great news of His gift of salvation. He died for man’s sin and has reclaimed authority to us. So, what was His message?
“…and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.” – Ephesians 6:15
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden of Eden, they were filled with sin. They broke the relationship between Creator God and all of mankind. They thought that Satan’s words were more appealing than the Lord’s, and chose to disobey Him.
So, they ventured on a hard path that led to the consequence of death. But, by God’s grace, He gave man a choice. He said that we would all die a physical death. This broke the entrapment of living in eternal sin with no rescue. By dying a physical death, an option was represented for what would happen afterwards. As John phrases it in Revelation 20:14, there is the possibility of a “second death”. Those who choose a relationship with Jesus only experience physical death. But those who don’t have the second.
From this, the world went into a spiritual warfare over mankind. The Lord desired man to be in a relationship with Him again. Satan, on the other hand didn’t, and would do anything he could to stop that.
That’s why Jesus came. He knew that man couldn’t save himself from sin or the grasp of the enemy. We needed a perfect man who didn’t have any sin in Him to be a sacrifice for us in order to right the wrong. So, Jesus came as a human, while still being fully God, and lived life with man on earth. He was tempted by Satan and suffered like we all do. Then He was murdered and buried.
The difference is that He raised Himself up from the dead, meanwhile conquering death and hell in the spiritual world and giving man that choice to choose life with Jesus over life with Satan. Satan only offers sinful, corrupted things like fear, greed, envy, hate, anger, war, and death. Jesus, on the other hand, offers all things good: life, hope, joy, and peace.
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.” – John 14:27
The problem is that we still have to live our human life in this sinful world until the end of time (which will come). So, we’ll still experience suffering, trials, and temptations. But Jesus and the work of Holy Spirit can help us in that. When we look to Him over the things of this world, we can find peace. We don’t have to wait for it until after death. It’s an eternal gift, both now and after.
Peace is an amazing gift. It’s the kind that makes people question how you can be so calm in the midst of suffering. How can you be okay when everything around you is falling apart? Peace resides in the reassurance that the Lord has everything under control and is working everything out for His glory and your good.
Peace is believing that Jesus came as a man, died, conquered death, resurrected from that death, walked among people on the earth afterwards, and then ascended back to heaven where He lives and reigns over the heavens and the earth.
Peace is believing that Jesus has conquered Satan and his time is running out. Though you have suffering, you know that it is temporary. If you have a relationship with Jesus, you’re not going to be trapped in your suffering for an eternity. Your pain and hurt will end. Jesus will come and heal you from the effects of this world. He’ll right your wrongs. Therefore, by the hope that awaits you, you can have peace in this present time.
You can hold onto peace no matter what happens in your lifetime, or how crazy this world gets. This peace is what people are willing to suffer and die for in persecuted countries. It’s what helps others through hardships and chronic illness. It gives strength when life doesn’t make sense, because you know this isn’t all that life is. There are far greater things awaiting you because of the life and message that Jesus continues to share with the world by His story and His disciples.
May you be encouraged by the overflowing peace the Lord offers you today, and in turn be able to share it with others by the abundance that’s been given to you.