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 (NIV)
To understand the meaning of this verse, it helps to understand God’s perspective on peace. We tend to think it just means superficially being calm in a storm. It’s like the idea of a duck on a pond. While they may look at rest on the surface, their feet are kicking below the surface. God’s view of peace is more than we think. In the Old Testament, the word commonly used for peace is shalom. It covers peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility. The word for peace in John 16:33 (New Testament) is eiréné. It has been said that the word peace means an exemption from the rage and havoc of war; where harmony prevails; a mild and friendly spirit; security, safety, prosperity and felicity; or the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.
When Jesus tells us He wants us to have peace, He is talking about peace the way He views it. We can trust Him to take care of us. He has already done the hard work to secure our place in eternity. We can trust Him to help us with our troubles in this lifetime. We can be at peace.
God, thank you for coming that I could have peace. Show me practical ways I can live in peace. Help me to be at peace even in the difficult seasons of life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.