Everyone wants peace. I don't just mean the peace that comes from finally having a minute of quiet to yourself after a busy day. I mean the kind of peace that rejuvenates your soul and gives you the strength to face each new day. There's a big difference between the kind of peace offered by the world and the peace offered by Christ. The peace of the world requires a change in circumstances. A bubble bath might bring momentary peace, but only because your outward situation changed. The peace of God is internal and changes you. Lasting peace is not the absence of trouble, but is the presence of Christ in your life. Believers can still have peace even when surrounded by difficulties. In John 14:27 Jesus promises, "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." I'm thankful that Christ doesn't give peace in the same way as the world, because then it wouldn't be real peace at all. My peace comes from Christ's presence in my life.
Consider this story about the disciples just a few days after Jesus was crucified. They had followed Jesus for three years and had devoted their lives to him. They had put their hope in the fact that he was the Messiah and would lead the revolution to free the Jews from Roman persecution. Then he was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, endured a mockery of a trial, was hung on a cross, and left to die. Where did that leave the disciples? Alone, and scared to death. They hid behind locked doors for fear of what the Jews would do to them. They were, after all, considered rebels and blasphemers in the eyes of righteous Jews. In John 20:19-20 we read, "On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace by with you!' After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord." Prior to Jesus coming into their midst they experienced great fear, but His sudden presence among them brought joy and peace. Their situation hadn't changed. Nothing outside the doors of that room was different, but Christ's presence changed them, and brought peace. Suddenly they were able to face their worst fears because Christ was with them.
We can have this same peace when we give our lives to Christ. Revelation 3:20 says, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." We can have this fellowship with Christ that leads to everlasting peace, if only we would answer the knock on the door of our hearts. I praise God that he pursues us. He loves us enough to stand at the door waiting for us to open our lives to Him. So, will you answer the door?