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 16:33

There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would create a painting that best demonstrated peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the paintings, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.

One painting was of a beautiful and calm lake scene. The lake was a mirror reflecting the towering snowcapped mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. Most who saw this painting thought that it was the perfect picture of peace.

The other painting had mountains too. But, these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and lightning danced. Down the side of one mountain, tumbled a turbulent waterfall. When the King looked, he saw that behind the waterfall grew a tiny bush from a crack in the rock. Within the bush a bird had built a nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird in her nest. The King chose this picture as the one best demonstrating peace.

People grumbled at the King’s choice. The king responded to the people saying that he chose the second picture because peace did not mean being in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. The King explained that true peace meant to be in the midst of all those things and yet still be calm in heart.

We live in a fast-paced world full of turmoil. Perhaps even now you are experiencing significant challenges that threaten to knock your world off balance and threaten to rob you of peace. Still, as the story points out, the absence of turmoil isn’t the real meaning of peace. Like the King in the story, our King, Jesus, knows the meaning of peace. He hasn’t chosen to take us out of this world, or to remove all of the sources of trouble, but rather to protect us and offer us the peace that only He can give.

Is your world feeling disrupted? Are you looking for peace? Turn to Jesus, who will be your shelter in times of storm.

1. When you think of your life, which painting from the story seems the more realistic picture of what peace can look like?

2. What current situations do you need to seek God’s peace in your life?

John 14:27, John 17:15, Philippians 4:6-7

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Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, editor, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord Culture Blog also appears on Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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