Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: A Different Sort of Peace - Jack Easterby

How is Jesus’ peace different from our peace? He doesn’t have an adversarial relationship with the Heavenly Father because of sin — we do. Jesus came down to Earth to leave His perfect communion with the Father — a relationship unbroken by sin — to bring us the hope of salvation and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which guarantees our inheritance with God. The peace of Christ is only a small example of what it looks like to have a unbroken communion with the Father. It’s a “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Currently, we only know a broken, fallen relationship with the Father. Imagine if you had a broken relationship with your dad, but your brother had a flawless relationship with the same man. What if your brother turned to you one day and said, “I want to take your place. You have the perfect relationship with Dad, and I’ll take your place.” In the same way, Christ tells us, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to 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).

We need to appreciate what Jesus did when He left the right hand of the Father to come to us. He came to us because He wanted us to have the same perfect relationship with the Father that He has.

But we are not yet in the presence of the Father. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “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.”

Though we will have trouble in this world, we need to look at our problems in light of what Jesus has done. This will help us recalibrate how significant — or insignificant — our problem really is. If you wake up every day and count your blessings, you will rarely have time to get to your curses. But if you wake up each day to count your curses, you might never get to your blessings.

You will have tribulation in this life, there’s no question about it. It’s not a matter of if, but when. Jesus doesn’t say He will dissolve the chaos around us, but He will allow the chaos to shed light on His presence and to show us how He can help us.

If you know Jesus is your Prince of Peace, and you accept the peace He offers, you can walk by the chaos without flinching. You don’t have to be scared of the bully of sin. Confront the struggle and acknowledge, “This is not as big as my God!”

Jack Easterby, New England Patriots chaplain

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