His peace He left with us

Last weekend, my wife and I stole away to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary. To say that we had a good time would be more than an understatement. It was a precious time of intimate rediscovery of the love that is between us. We were both reminded of why we made the decision to be joined together in marriage 15 years ago.

When I think about what was the greatest thing about our weekend, it was not just that we got to spend two nights on the seventeenth floor of our favorite hotel overlooking the Mobile Bay. It was not all the great food that we ate. It was not getting to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks show from our hotel window. The greatest part of our weekend was the company we shared.

I cannot remember the last time we were able to be so carefree in our enjoyment of one another. We were off work. Our children were in good hands. Our animals were cared for, and we had saved enough money that we could go and do just about whatever we wanted. We were able to just bask in our delight of one another in perfect peace.

As I reflect back on our weekend, I am reminded of the words of our Lord, “My peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives it to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). I believe the kind of peace and joy that Jen and I experienced in one another last weekend is the same kind of peace and joy that is available to all in Christ, in every circumstance. 

Christ’s desire is for us to delight in Him and Him alone, as there is nothing and no one else in this world that can bring us true peace. He completed His work on the earth and was obedient to the point of death. He loved us with a love that was all surpassing. This was so that we might respond in faith and repentance, enter into an intimate personal relationship with Him, receive His spirit into our hearts, and ever delight in His presence in our lives.

It is His presence in our hearts and lives that gives us peace as we face the trials of this life. I am reminded that as much as I love and enjoy the company my wife, if I lost her tomorrow, I would be lonely, for sure, but I certainly would not be alone. If for some reason I found out that our marriage was not what I thought and that she really did not love me. I would be hurt, even so, I would know without a doubt that His love for me remains true. Even if I lost everything I hold dear in this world, I could still have peace because I have something in Christ that cannot be lost, namely, His love for me.

All that brings me joy in this world, my wife, my children, my job, my possessions precipitate from His great love for me. If for some reason He saw fit to end the deluge of material and relational blessings upon my life, then I would still have reason to be thankful. I would still have cause to worship and praise Him because I would still have His abiding presence. As much as I love my people and my things, He is really all I need. No matter what my future holds in the way of tribulation, I will not be troubled nor afraid. This is the peace that He has left with me. This is the peace He has given me.

If you have not already done so, I hope that you will find peace in the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit. If you have found your peace in Him that comes by faith, then know that even that is a gift from God. His love for you is all surpassing. Enjoy it. Bask in it. Be ever delighted in Him. That is His desire for your life.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

– Romans 15:13