April 20, 2021
by: Gabriel Tseng
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 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 14:25-27
Peace. I’ve always associated it with lack of trouble and a more comfortable life. Having peace without any concerns or worries on my mind are what eases my heart and mind in difficult times. I often will sit myself in this sweet moment Jesus has with His disciples and bask in the calm of this moment. Why would they need peace and what type of peace is this? There is little that will be peaceful in just a few hours in the suffering in all directions that will follow. In the days to come, the Advocate, also called the Holy Spirit will be there when Jesus is not. He will bring to mind to help the disciples remember and also to be courageous with great comfort. It will not be comfortable days ahead and Jesus does not promise lack of trouble or discomfort, but a great Comforter and a peace that will accompany the trouble. 
We can have peace without having total understanding. We can have comfort and courage in the midst of great difficulty. These tender words with incoming help would have been welcome words to the disciples as they faced uncertainty with increased opposition and difficulty in the days to come. They could be certain that He would be with them even while not knowing how exactly they would survive or thrive in the days to come. As they heard these words, they might not have expected all that was to come. I wonder if this would have been a blessing to give only what would be digestible information for the moment. If the Lord would have revealed every upcoming difficulty in my faith at the moment I turned to the Lord, I may have said no. 
When I’m not feeling incredibly strong or courageous, I can know that the Lord has not wasted this moment. With much uncertainty in my circumstance, I can doubt how clearly I can hear or see the Lord, but I can have a certainty that He is still walking with me. In the midst of my doubts and my difficulty, I can be strangely encouraged that my struggle in itself is an act of faith. The Lord knows right where you are and sees exactly what you need. While it may not feel like the comforting peace in circumstance that we so desire, we know He does not give as the world gives, but He gives us something more substantial, His continued presence in His Spirit, in His people, in His very presence to sustain us and refine us, not to destroy us, but to prosper us. Where we cannot see His hand, we can trust His heart, that He has not withheld from us. 

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