These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.–John 16:33
Jesus never called people to follow Him under false pretenses. He was always honest–“In the world ye shall have tribulation”. And He never lessened the demands of discipleship to gain a following–they had to be willing to forsake all, take up their cross and follow Him. It would seem that a life of peace was out of the question, yet that is the very thing He promised! And, remember–He never lies. Let His promise be the rock upon which you build all your hopes.
Consider these words about peace from the pen of J. M. Miller:
“The Christian’s peace is not found in a place where there is no trouble—it is something which enters the heart and makes it independent of all outside conditions. In the ruins of many old English castles, a well is found down deep among the foundations. Thus water was provided for use in the castle in time of siege. The enemy might cut off the streams which ordinarily supplied the people in the castle with water. They might shut the gates, so that no one could go outside. But the defenders within the walls cared not for any siege while the well in the foundation gave its copious supply of pure, fresh water. So it is with the Christian, in whose heart the peace of God dwells. He is not dependent upon outside conditions and circumstances, for he carries in himself the secret of his joy, hope, peace, and strength.
It is very evident that we cannot hope to live in this world without troubles and cares. No such life is possible. The larger and more important the place we are called to fill, the more troubles and cares must we have. Nor can we hope for a life without sorrow. To love is to weep some time in the journey. One of every two friends must hold the other’s hand and stand by the other’s coffin. True religion does not shelter us from grief. But the peace promised is an experience which neither care nor sorrow can disturb—it is something that changes sorrow into joy.
A summer tourist writes of finding a fresh water spring beside the sea, as sweet as any that ever gushed from amid the rocks on the mountainside. He took his cup and drank of the water that bubbled up in the sand. Soon the tide rolled in again; pouring its brackish flood over the little spring, and burying it out of sight for hours. But when again the bitter surf flowed out, the spring was found sweet as ever. So it is with the peace of God in the believer’s heart. It dwells deep. In the day of joy it sings and is glad. Then sorrow comes and the salt floods pour over the life, covering it. But when the sorrow is past, the heart’s peace remains sweet and joyous as ever.”