"Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27)

How is it possible to keep the heart from troubling when trouble is knocking at every door and peering through every window, and when tribulation and sorrow are rolling about us breast high? How, when cherished props are broken and useless, and earthly hopes have failed and fled, when the human arm upon which we leaned sustains us no more, and the heart from which we drew our sympathy lies dead and unresponsive to our cry? How can we be unafraid when black hatred and unholy strife are tearing with wolfish jaws not the flesh only, but the very souls of men, and all the foundations of the earth are out of course, and our Lord's promise to return seems so long of fulfilment? Can it be possible to keep our hearts from troubling in such sad days, and in such conditions as these, and to have no fear though the road be rough and long, and the earthly outlook so appalling?

Yes, it must be possible, or He who never will deceive or disappoint would not have spoken the words. To discover the secret of this great tranquillity we must work back through these words of the Lord. This absence of all foreboding is the result of a peace which He gives to us, and which He calls "My peace." He made peace for us by His death, and that peace He has left with us, but that which He speaks of as "My peace" is something different and additional. It is the peace that filled His own heart when He endured the contradiction of sinners against Himself, the deep unbroken quiet of His soul that depended not on any outward circumstances, but belonged to the place where He dwelt and dwells still — the Father's bosom, i.e. the love of which He spoke when He said to the Father, "Thou lovest Me before the foundation of the world." In this love He dwelt, it was the home of His heart, and so He is described as "THE ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON, WHICH IS IN THE BOSOM OF THE FATHER." This peace is connected with this dwelling-place, and within it only can it be known.

This peace was His, for that dwelling-place was His, it was His before the ages of time, it did not cease to be His when He tabernacled amongst men. He had a right to it and was worthy of it: fully, at all times, and for ever worthy of it. He did not leave that dwelling-place when He came to earth, the Father's bosom was still His home, and the peace that belongs to it was His, and He says, "MY PEACE I GIVE UNTO YOU."

But how can this be? That question also is answered for us by Himself, for He added, "Not as the world gives, give I to you." The world stands at the doors of its fair mansions and dispenses its benefactions to the poor and distressed that gather at its gates, but these same poor cross not the thresholds, they have no place or portion within the doors. Not thus does the Lord give to us, for not thus could His peace be ours. He opens the door of His dwelling for us, and bids us "Come and see." He tells us that His home of love — the Father's bosom — is ours, He shares it with us as His companions and His brethren, and wants us to know its joys and the changeless peace that belongs to it. Can any trouble disturb the deep serenity of the Father's bosom? Can earth-born storms create forebodings in the heart that dwells there? And this is the true home of every child of God, it is the place of their dwelling now and for ever.

This surely is the secret of this blessed peace. For notice, that the Lord had already said, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you." He had told them of the Father, and of the Father's love. His words were the revelation of the Father, the unfolding of the Father's bosom, of His deep thoughts of love towards them. The Holy Ghost was to bring all this back to their remembrance, and to be the power within them by which they should enter consciously and intelligently into that which had been revealed. And their portion is ours; yours, tired and trembling believer, and mine. You and I may dwell in the Father's love and enjoy the peace of Christ which passes all understanding here and now.

Let us not stand at a distance, the prey of dark misgivings, nursing our sorrows and fears as though the Father had forgotten us or was angry with us, but take up the children's place and rest in the Father's love and enjoy that surpassing peace, and let not our hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid, though tribulation in the world be our appointed lot.