“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” John 14:27

The world gives a fragile peace which requires constant effort to avoid conflict whereas God gives peace as a gift. We don’t have to avoid difficult situations or difficult people in order to be at peace. However, we can only experience God’s peace if we know God is Sovereign and therefore there’s no need to worry.

Paul writes, “Stay calm” (1 Thessalonians 4:11 The Message Bible). Again we can only stay calm if we know God is in control and nothing can happen without his knowledge or permission. It requires trust in God to stay calm in circumstances which would normally cause us to panic.

In the Old Testament, it’s often mentioned that people tore their clothes when tragedy struck. It was a way of expressing grief and distress. But the priests weren’t allowed to tear their clothes (Leviticus 21:10). In fact, the priests’ clothes were made in such a way that would prevent accidental tearing (Exodus 28:32). Today we are “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9) and therefore we have the directive not to “tear our clothes.” This means we aren’t to fall apart emotionally when trouble or tragedy strikes. We never regard anything as an utter disaster. We always have hope. We can cope.

Furthermore, as royal priests, we can “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us” (Hebrews 4:16). God is in control. He isn’t taken by surprise. No problem is too hard for him. Nothing is so distressing that we can’t handle it because his grace is sufficient for any crisis. We can stay calm and accept God’s peace.