Read: John 14:23-27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. (v. 27)
In a 2021 interview with Vanity Fair magazine, actress Jennifer Lawrence disclosed that a recent period of overwork and burnout had been driven by a preoccupation with pleasing people. Lawrence says, “I reached a point where people were not pleased just by my existence. So that kind of shook me out of thinking that work or your career can bring any kind of peace to your soul.” Few of us will reach Jennifer Lawrence’s level of fame. But many of us can identify with the pitfall of believing that work, or any other earthly pursuit, can bring peace to our souls.
At the Last Supper, Jesus tells his disciples that he will give them “peace”—a peace unlike the peace the world gives (v.27). The world offers peace in the form of material prosperity or military might or political power. The world offers peace in the form of friends on social media or romantic fulfillment or professional achievement. The world offers a peace that cannot last.
Jesus offers his disciples the peace of his presence. In the same way that his presence in the boat calmed the stormy sea, his presence in their hearts carries them through any of the storms of life. Even after the bodily separation of his death and later ascension, Jesus will make a way to be with every one of his disciples. You and I are recipients of the gift of Jesus’ presence, and peace, through his Holy Spirit. —Ben Van Arragon
As you pray, ask Jesus for the peace of his presence.
About the Author
Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.