Our Indescribable Peace

Todd Stiles   -  

Peace. An internal calm in the middle of an external storm.

Even that definition sounds unexplainable, almost contradictory. But such is the wonderful nature of peace. At least true, biblical peace.

No wonder Paul would describe biblical peace with the words “which surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). God supernaturally enables his children to experience divine calm when there is distracting, even dysfunctional, chaos all around us. In those moments, we find it humanly impossible to verbalize how two completely different situations can exist simultaneously. Yet, they can when the peace of God is present.

Remember when Jesus walked on the water towards the disciples who were struggling to keep their boat from capsizing in the storm? They were unquestionably frightened. But when Jesus entered the boat, He commanded the wind and the waves to be still, bringing peace to both the elements of weather and his students. His presence brought unexplainable peace, an indescribable calm in an undesirable storm.

Additionally, peace is exactly what the angels announced to the shepherds on the night of Christ’s birth. Yet, it wasn’t a peaceful time in that region, including Bethlehem. Instead, it was a time of registration and taxation required by a foreign occupying force. Specifically for Mary and Joseph, the long travel and crowded conditions, mixed with pregnancy, undoubtedly created much stress for them. It was in the middle of all of this that angel knew exactly what was needed: peace brought by the presence of the Christ child.

The point is quite clear—without the presence of Jesus, there is no unexplainable peace. Oh, there may be temporary agreement, even a level of “getting along” that suffices for the short term. But it’s not peace that lasts or the kind of soul rest that exists in the middle of external distress. That kind of peace can only come from God.

And it did when Jesus came. And it will when Jesus comes again. This isn’t saying we don’t experience this peace powerfully now through the Holy Spirit. Yes, we do. But when he comes again, we will experience it personally, just as they did when he came the first time.

During this advent season, may you internally know the indescribable peace of God in the middle of externally undesirable circumstances. For Jesus has come with “peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14).

Pastor Todd