This week, I will define peace God’s way.
What you want isn’t as good as what God wants for you.
She was such a loser that her life could only be described as “sinful.” But when Jesus came to dinner at a local religious bigwig’s house in Luke 7, she sneaked in, found Jesus, and — weeping over her own depravity — anointed his feet … the ultimate sign of reverence.
Jesus forgave her sin, then gave her instructions: “Go in peace.”
Was he guaranteeing her a problem-free future? No. Jesus doesn’t share our most common definitions of peace:
“If only my ministry had a little more money, I’d feel at peace.”
“If only I had a different wife, I’d be at peace.”
“If only I could have a baby.”
“If only my baby would sleep through the night.”
“If only I could be in charge of this ministry, instead of stuck in this position.”
Unfortunately, none of these achievements leads to real peace — because each gives way to some other need which leaves us restless.
Peace isn’t a feeling at all. Jesus didn’t forgive the woman’s sins and fill her with his power for the sake of a warm fuzzy feeling. He didn’t die on the cross just so I could have higher status in my social circle or greater success in my career. Jesus paid the ultimate price for the sake of getting me the one thing God wants to be sure I have: true peace of mind. Alignment of my heart with God’s heart.
We imagine a change, and we envision peace of mind resulting from that change. But God looks at peace of mind from the other side. He can give me peace first, regardless of whether my circumstances change the way I want them to.
Jesus looked at that sinful woman in the Pharisee’s house, throwing herself on his mercy, and what he said to her, in the space of 8 words, was cosmically profound: Your faith has saved you, go in peace. In other words, as of this moment, you have the potential to become the fully actualized person I dreamed up when I created you. A person who loves life. A person who feels full of passion — and yet fully contented. A person who makes a powerful impact on those around her … and yet a person who is completely at rest, every single day — because she knows she is letting the Spirit of Jesus Christ shape her, guide her, empower her, fulfill her, make out of her life everything she longs for it to be, deep down inside, in her heart of hearts.
True peace comes from totally trusting Christ … entering into a true life “in Christ” … because a life in Christ is the only life I’m perfectly designed to live!
My Prayer for the Next Seven Days… Father, give me your peace. Not a flimsy feeling founded on my circumstances, but the true peace of a life totally entrusted to you. Amen.