"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." John 14:27
This week, I had to preach two funeral services. It's hard to watch families grieve and mourn over the loss of loved ones. In this life, we face many losses…loss of a job, loss of a friendship, loss of a home, loss of health, and yes, loss of life. Nothing seems to be more devastating than a loss of life. Jesus warned His disciples time and again that He would lose his life. He warned them that it would be difficult and painful, but necessary. However, He gave them peace, His peace, in this time of loss. Jesus told them in John 14:1, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me." Then He told them again in John 14:27, "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." Jesus knew that His followers would face difficult times…times of loss. He knew that they would grieve and mourn His loss. But He gave them His peace. His peace was the peace that Paul talked about in Philippians 4:7, when he said, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." You won't find that kind of peace anywhere in this world…not in a job, not in a friend, not in family. The peace that transcends all understanding only come from Jesus. It is a peace that brings hopes in times of loss. Paul described it this way in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, "Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." He goes on to say in verse 18, "Therefore encourage one another with these words." I don't know what kind of loss you have experienced this week or may be experiencing right now. But I do know this: you can turn to Jesus and experience His peace in the midst of your troubles. You can have hope that will overcome your grief and despair.