“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27
The world’s peace is negative, dependent on the absence of conflict. Jesus’ peace is positive. He told His followers He hadn’t come to bring peace, but a “sword” (Matthew 10:34). His very presence excited opposition and persecution. Yet in the midst of the strife, Jesus’ disciples would have His peace. So Stephen dies under the stones of an angry mob, glorifying Jesus as he perishes. 86-year old Polycarp, faithful follower, refuses to deny Jesus, and burns at the stake, declaring his friendship with the Lord. And so it has gone for centuries—people experiencing Christ’s peace in the midst of their blood, sweat and tears.
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