The Peace of Jesus

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
-John 14:27

“This too, shall pass.” is a phrase that I hold firmly in my mind and heart when things are difficult.  It is easy to become overwhelmed by chores, messes, chaos at work, schedules at home and church, and lose sight of the peace that Christ offers.  In moments of deep grief and despair we have a tendency to lose hope that things will ever change or improve.  That these feelings will be with us forever.  One of the greatest tragedies of the Covid Pandemic was that hopeless feeling which preceded numerous deaths by suicide.  People can get caught in a mindset thinking: “If this is how life is going to be… I don’t want to live.”

One of my favorite hymns is “It is Well with my Soul.”  The story behind this incredibly comforting hymn comes out of immense heartache and tragedy.  Horatio Spafford had suffered financial ruin in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  His son had died shortly before the fire and in an attempt to recover, they decided to travel to England.  His wife and four daughters traveled ahead of Horatio.  The ship sank within 12 minutes in the Atlantic and Horatio received a telegram from his wife, “saved alone.”  He booked passage on the next ship and at the place where the captain of his ship believed his daughters had been lost, he penned the words to the hymn, “When sorrows like sea billows roll… it is well, it is well with my soul.”

Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world!”  Even in the midst of trouble, fear, and chaos, we have the peace of Christ as a gift from God to comfort and bless us.  We have the Body of Christ to give solace.  We have the promises of God to grant us peace.

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come
Let this blest assurance control
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And has shed His own blood for my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul

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