Support for the New Life

KEY VERSE: “I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: John 14:18-27, 32, 33

JESUS was leaving a priceless legacy of peace with his disciples. It was a tranquility of heart and mind he himself possessed, and which he had received from his Heavenly Father. God possesses perfect peace, a self-possession, and self-confidence which is never confused, perplexed, anxious, or fearful that his plans and purposes will fail of fulfillment.

He is all-wise, knowing the end from the beginning, and his great power, which, from the very start of creation, has sustained the universe without undue disorder or mishap, is pledged for its orderly and peaceful continuance throughout the eternal future. Thus, from his own vast, inherent resources of power and wisdom springs the peace of God. His peace has remained undisturbed even amid rebellion and discord in his family, both in heaven and on earth. It has continued through the sorrow-filled years of permitting sin and suffering and death, and the costly sacrifice of his only begotten Son for the eventual eradication of these painful hindrances to happiness.

Some scriptures speak of the evil this time has brought as abominable, displeasing, hateful, and despicable in the sight of God, against which his indignation and wrath wax hot, even to their destruction. Other scriptures speak of his pleasure, love, joy, and delight in the principles of righteousness and those who obey them. Looking down through the stream of time God saw, rising out of the permission of evil directed and shaped by his own wisdom and power, the glory of an intelligent creation in his own likeness, established in righteousness and worthy of his gift of eternal life, and with peaceful patience he resolved to wait for its glorious consummation.

Jesus, as a faithful Son, possessed this same peace, and it was reflected throughout his life. He had utmost confidence in his Heavenly Father’s method for accomplishing his ultimate design. He understood the difficult but vital role of death that he was selected to perform in the divine plan. Near the end he was given the assurance that he was a faithful Son, and with his mind at peace he fulfilled that which was prophesied, and was “brought as a Iamb to the slaughter.”—Isa. 53:7

It was this kind of peace that he desired for his disciples, yet even as he was speaking, the storm-clouds of trouble were mounting and soon would burst with fury upon them. Judas was even then out on his errand of treason. Then followed the agony in Gethsemane, the consternation as they began to realize the fate of their beloved Master, their fearful forebodings as he stood alone before his accusers in the Hall of Pilate, and the Court of Herod. And finally, powerless to help, some witnessed the horror of his crucifixion, while others overcome with fear and dread forsook him and fled. Jesus had promised them peace, yet where was it to be found?

Three days later their hope was revived by news of the Lord’s resurrection, and it was subsequently confirmed by numerous appearances. Again, forty days after, their hope was further strengthened by his parting counsel and promised return, and instruction for them to tarry in Jerusalem for the Comforter which would come not many days hence, and then he ascended up out of their sight. They did wait, and on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and the mysteries of God’s plan began to unfold—Jesus’ life and teachings became meaningful, and as a result the peace of God within them began to grow and to know no bounds.

But not for the early disciples alone was this legacy of peace bequeathed. It has been the inheritance of the entire church even to this very end of the Gospel Age. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for all those which shall believe on me through their word.”—John 17:20

This promised peace is not the short-lived peace of the world, which is sometimes enjoyed for a little season when things go well, but quickly vanishes when poverty strikes, friends forsake, health fails, and death steals away the treasures of the heart. This peace endures through persecution, scorn, contempt, loss of earthly possessions, and even death. It is a peace which none of the vicissitudes of the present life can destroy, and which no enemy can take from us.

This peace of God which passeth all earthly understanding is based upon a firm faith in the love, power, and wisdom of God, and a belief that what he has promised he is able to perform.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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