“Mariners and oceanographers have known for a long time that no matter how rough the seas or how high the waves get the water just 10 feet below the surface of the trough is completely calm. We spend the majority of our time at the top of the waves during the rough seas of life. That is where the struggle is. It is also where the, ‘seaworthiness,’ and/or weaknesses of a vessel are discovered. The weaknesses can sometimes have disastrous results. We are to remain in HIM at all times. Just 10 feet below the surface of the raging storms of life where it is perfectly calm. A submarine spends the majority of its time below the surface of the oceans of the world and the sailors are unaware of surface conditions even during the worst storms with the highest waves unless the captain surfaces. A wise captain will not risk his boat or his crew in those type of conditions. Jesus is our wise captain. HE did one of three things during stormy weather that was kicking up the waves. HE slept. HE rebuked the storm and spoke peace to the wind and waves. And HE walked on the water. It is our choice to make.”
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let now your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” JESUS: John 14:27
I, Michael, after spending years at sea, myself, know first hand about wave action. One time I was on an aircraft carrier in the edge of a typhoon and waves were coming over the flight deck which was normally 90 feet above sea level! It was a wild time, but the submarines that were escorting our group were safe under the surface.
True peace and faith go hand in hand. And God allows situations to come into our lives so our faith can be tried as it was with the disciples on the sea of Galilee on that stormy night. Peter wrote,
[The elect] are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In which you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold trials: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (1 Peter 1:5-7 KJ2000)
I felt led to look up each Greek word in this verse from John fourteen which Ken shared and it is interesting that the word translated “troubled” in the Greek means “roiled up” as in troubled waters on the sea. Jesus gives His peace and specifies that it is superior to the peace that the world gives. If the world (kosmos– or world system) gives “peace” it is totally conditional and is often armed neutrality at best and is a war that is just waiting for the right conditions to break out again. We are seeing this kind of “peace” all over the world where ethnic violence is only suppressed by militaristic dictators and more recent they are getting involved in “ethnic cleansing” themselves! Jeremiah saw this day when He said,
For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest everyone deals falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. (Jeremiah 6:13-14 KJ2000)
But the peace that Christ sends us forth with (the meaning of His words “my peace I give unto you”) is deep and not subject to the superficial roiling of the world around us. His peace settled deep into our spirits out of reach of all things temporal. I often think of Paul and Barnabas in that dark Philippian dungeon with their backs split open from a flogging, and their feet bound in stocks awaiting further sentencing and what were they doing? Singing praises unto the Lord! (How many Christians in America do you know that would be doing THAT under such circumstances?) Paul and Barnabas went forth with Christ’s peace in their hearts, peace that surpasses all reasonable understanding, and they were more than overcomers as they abode IN Him. And, as we know from the story, Jesus came down and inhabited their praises and the will of the kosmos gave way to the will of its Creator (see Acts Acts ch. 16).
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever: for in the LORD GOD is everlasting strength: For he brings down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he lays it low; he lays it low, even to the ground; he brings it even to the dust. (Isaiah 26:1-5 KJ2000 – emphasis added)