We reflected yesterday on some unique aspects of the peace of Jesus. Yet not only is the peace of Jesus unique, it is also comprehensive in that it possesses many ingredients. Here are some of the reasons why disciples of Jesus should have peace in their souls.
First, they know the forgiveness of their sins, not just the sins of their pre-disciple days but also the sins they commit daily. When they sin, the indwelling Spirit prompts them to confess these sins. He reminds them that if they confess them, the Father is faithful and just to pardon them because of the atoning work of Jesus. As they confess them, they discover again that Jesus is their Helper (1 John 1:9–2:2). The continual presence of sin is not really the main barrier to peace in a disciple’s heart; it is unconfessed sin that is the barrier. The Christian who is continually asking for cleansing is one who will know Christ’s peace.
Second, they know that they possess permanent blessings from Christ. These blessings are never taken away, although the comfort of them will be lost if they don’t confess their sins. Take the knowledge of these blessings away from God’s people and their comfort is disrupted.
Third, disciples should have peace because they know that all the outworkings of providence are in the hands of Jesus. All power is his in heaven and on earth; he is able to work all things together for their benefit. So even adverse circumstances in themselves are not able to destroy the peace of Christ in their souls. Sometimes they do, but that often happens when they focus on the bigness of the problem and not on the activity of Jesus on their behalf.
Fourth, disciples should have peace because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. He has come as the Spirit of Jesus, to give to each of his people the presence of Christ. He ministers in their hearts in ways similar to how Jesus would work if he were present physically with them. The Spirit, in addition to leading them to confess their sins, reminds them of their privileges, accompanies them in prayer, meets them in the Bible, and produces within them the fruit of the Spirit, which is Christlikeness. Part of that fruit is peace, the peace of Jesus.
This is something that we should desire for one another. Note how the letters of Paul, Peter and John begin with the prayerful desire that their readers would know peace from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. That should be our prayer for one another daily.