Peace: perfect peace

john-16-33

The Verse of the Day for December 30, 2016, the last Wednesday of the year, brings to our attention words from Jesus Christ found in John 16:33 (AMP):

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]

In John 14:27 (AMP) the Lord makes another reference to peace

Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

These words of peace come from the Prince of Peace, source of everlasting peace. Aside from the peace that Christ gives, there is no real peace. I recall the lyrics from an old song often sung acapella around a campfire:

Peace, I thank thee for O Father

Peace, peace, peace

When I learn to live serenely cares will cease.

From thy Word I gather courage, visions of the day to be

Strength to lead and faith to follow all are given unto me

Peace, I thank thee for O Father

Peace, peace, peace

The scriptures from John also bring to mind Isaiah 26:3 (NLT):

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

The verse is rendered this way in the Amplified Bible:

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

The word “peace” in this verse is repeated in the Hebrew text and rendered “perfect peace.” This figure of repetition could be literally translated “peace, peace.” God provides a “double portion of peace” to those who trust in Him. A similar expression is used elsewhere in Isaiah

Isaiah 27: 5 (NLT):

unless they turn to me for help.
Let them make peace with me;
yes, let them make peace with me.”

Isaiah 57:19 (NKJV)

“I create the fruit of the lips:
Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,”
Says the Lord,
“And I will heal him.”

Finally Colossians 3:15 provides this reminder:

15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members 8of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

The Verse of the Day along with other scriptures related to the peace of God reinforce the comforting and reassuring message expressed in Isaiah 26:3 which promises that God will keep us in a state of perfect peace as we trust him. John Waller sings “Perfect Peace,” a musical composition blending words of the Gospel of John and Isaiah 26:3:

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