“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
By coming to earth and paying for our sins, Jesus made peace between us and God. Peace with God also makes possible peace within ourselves and with others.
Imagine believing we had to earn our way into heaven. We would rush around frantically working at the hopeless task of doing enough good works to fit ourselves for the kingdom, always with a gnawing anxiety in the back of or minds, “Am I good enough?” “Will I make it?” Sins might leave us trembling in fear of judgment for the rest of our lives, and death would be the frightening deadline at which we are out of time to amass goodness.
We are not left to ourselves, though.
“Comfort, comfort ye my people saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry onto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. For she hath received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.”
Our comfort and our peace are in knowing our sins our covered for us, that we have a pardoning God. “It is finished” –finished anxiously trying to wash away our sins ourselves.
”Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
“Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”
Of course we still have trouble in the world, but His peace is shown to be heavenly, in that unlike the world’s transient peace, His peace lasts even through trouble.
I remember reading a story about a king who offered a prize for whoever could paint the best picture of peace. Many very peaceful looking sunsets and the like where submitted, but the painting he chose surprised many. At first glance it just looked like a storm in a forest. Amid the wind and rain, though, a mother bird calmly sat on her nest in the crevice of a rock, safe.
While in the world we must still fight evil, but with the assurance the battle is won. Through all our trouble and sadness, when we fail miserably, and when we don’t know how things could turn out well, we have the peace of knowing our God, who knows what he is doing, is in control. All sorrow will pass away and we will spend eternity with our Savior.