Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27)
The Apostle Paul spoke of this peace, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding…” (Philippians 4:7)
Why does the peace that Christ gives pass all understanding? Why can I not explain it?
I cannot because it is from heaven and has no point of reference on this earth. It can only be known by revelation. It must be revealed to us by the Spirit of Christ as we abide in Him.
“It passeth knowledge, that dear love of Thine,
My Savior, Jesus; yet this soul of mine,
Would of Thy love, in all its breadth and length,
Its height and depth, its everlasting strength,
Know more and more.”
This hymn writer was echoing the words of the Apostle Paul in his prayer for the Ephesians: “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height–and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19) We are unable to grasp the meaning of the peace of God, and the love of God and His joy except God reveal it to us. How does He do this?
He gives us faith. We must look at Jesus, the Crucified, the Exalted Christ. It is as we look heavenward to Him and we worship Him that He gives us faith to believe. He gives us faith to know that He “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us..” (Ephesians 3:20)
Paul in writing to the Corinthians said that the rulers of this world did not know who Christ was nor did they understand what He longed to give to those who would trust Him. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit….Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” (I Corinthians 2:9-10, 12)
The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote: “By faith we understand…” (Hebrews 11:3)
This is God’s way. It is by faith.
At a certain point in his life John Wesley was struggling to grasp the concept of justification by faith. A godly friend told Wesley to simply preach this truth until it became real to him. And so it was as Wesley preached the truth of justification by faith that the Spirit of God began to unveil the reality of its truth to his heart. He began to grasp the truth that “surpasses all understanding.” The result was blessing for untold numbers of people. This blessing came from the Lord of Heaven, by His Spirit.
Lord Jesus, strengthen our hearts to believe that which we cannot understand. Enable us to “preach it” until it becomes real.
In closing her hymn, Mary Shekleton wrote:
“I am an empty vessel – not one thought,
Or look of love, I ever to Thee brought;
Yet I may come, and come again to Thee,
With this, the empty sinner’s plea,
Thou lovest me.
Oh, fill me, Jesus, Saviour, with Thy love!
Lead, lead me to the living fount above;
Thither may I, in simple faith, draw nigh,
And never to another fountain fly,
But unto Thee.”
May this be our prayer too.