The Peace That Passes Understanding
“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. … I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 14:27; 16:33 (NIV UK)
Did you know that Jimmy Carter has been teaching Sunday school in the same church since he was 18 years old? He may be a former U.S. president, but at Maranatha Baptist, he is simply known as “a mighty fine teacher.” But in August of 2015, Carter was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. He was told he had only weeks to live. But that didn’t keep him from getting up and teaching one more Sunday school class. Carter brought his A-game to the pulpit, teaching with humour, humility and above all—peace. You see, when you’re someone who knows and trusts the God of the Bible, no matter what bad news comes your way, the Lord has promised to give us a peace that passes understanding.
See how Jesus puts it: “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).
Jimmy Carter’s story hasn’t ended yet. In fact, something remarkable happened. While teaching Sunday school last December, Jimmy revealed that he was cancer free. A series of immunotherapies had helped erase the lesions in his brain. No doubt these amazing new drugs were key to his recovery, but Christians also know that prayer had something to do with it. We know that ultimately, it’s God who gives and takes away. But I think we can say with confidence that, in Jimmy’s case, God still has some work for him to do.
While we don’t see eye-to-eye on every political issue, I appreciate this man’s dedication to his faith and particularly his clinging to Christ in times of trouble. I don’t know about you, but from one President to another, I’d like to say thanks, Jimmy, for being a faithful witness to the grace of God available to all of us through Jesus Christ.
Merciful Father, Thank you that in a world of turmoil and anguish we may have peace. Not peace from trouble but peace in our troubles. Your continuing mercy continues to amaze us; but we praise you for the mercies you give us. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
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