You may recall the hymn, Sweet Peace, the Gift of God’s Love, written by Peter P. Billhorn.  The words of that old hymn came to me today as I was sorting some items in preparation for moving, and I was thinking about all that was left to do.  It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of each day as we attempt to keep up with things.  It is easy to become alarmed when we listen to the news of fighting, crime, and other catastrophes that occur in our world.  It’s easy to become worried and stressed when a loved one become ill.  We grieve when loved ones die.  Where and how can we achieve the “peace” that Jesus talks about in John 14:27 when he says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”

First, we have to understand where that peace comes from, the kind of peace that makes us feel safe, whole, and complete.  It comes from developing a relationship with God, one in which we can talk to God about anything, knowing He understands and cares.  It comes from placing our full trust in God, relying completely on Him to meet all our needs.  Peace comes from knowing that Jesus died on the cross as atonement for our sins.  It comes from living in harmony with God, living our lives in such a way that we bring honor to God, living a life of truth and love with all mankind.  Peace doesn’t depend on the circumstances around us; rather it comes from the Holy Spirit which is inside us.

I leave you with this thought written by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”   (Philippians 4:6-7).  Ah…sweet peace, the gift of God’s love!