DEEPER HOPE

Deeper Hope:

An Abiding Virtue

This book explores the meaning -- and application -- of Christian Hope. It takes the fuzzy concept of Hope and reveals it in everyday settings

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God's Gift of Peace

Some things we say so often it’s easy to forget they are powerfully, transformationally true. Like children reciting “E=Mc2” we are unaware of the power on our lips. In church services, for example, some liturgical phrases have the power to change the world. Consider the congregational greeting, “Peace be with you” and the group response, “And also with you.” It’s a simple exchange, offered and returned whenever God’s people gather.

God’s peace is a gift. It is ours to receive and ours to give.

On the darkest night in history Jesus said to his friends, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give 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) Jesus had looked ahead: he saw the betrayal and violence that would arrive before sunrise. He saw the cross waiting for him. He wanted to equip his friends. He offered peace: a peace capable of overcoming troubled hearts and abject fear. He offered the inbreaking of a kingdom characterized by righteousness, peace, and joy. On that sacramental night, the high priest gave not only bread and wine: he gave peace as well.

His words were not a command; they were a gift. He did not offer Biblical instruction nor did he discuss strategic insight. Indeed, what he offered was beyond the disciples’ understanding--yet Jesus gave it anyway. He offered something from another world. In the Kingdom of God peace is something other than a high-minded ideal. Peace is how God equips his people. Peace is so real it can be carried and offered to others.

The antidotes to uncertainty and fear are not knowledge and courage, but peace: freely received, and freely given. Peace has been God's gift to you from the very beginning. He offered it that dark night. He offers it still.

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