A Devotional Thought for July 31, 2015…
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 NIV)
The Holy Spirit is given only to those who are sunk in affliction and misery. You must not think that Christ gives peace as the world does. The world thinks that peace means the removal of trouble or affliction. For example, when one is in poverty he thinks it a great affliction, and seeks to change it, believing that wealth means peace. Or one in sickness near death thinks: If I could live, I would have peace.
Christ does not give this sort of peace. He allows the affliction to remain and to oppress. He employs different tactics to give peace: he changes the heart, removing it from the affliction, not the affliction from the heart.
St. Paul calls this a peace which passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). No one can achieve this peace through thought or effort or with one’s senses. Christ alone gives this peace.
–Martin Luther (my paraphrase)
Pastor Michael Edwards