“Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
coming down from the Father above;
Sweep over my spirit forever I pray,
in fathomless billows of love.”
This is the chorus of a hymn that I sang as a child. Recently I began singing it again, and couldn’t get it out of mind for a long while.
The thought of the hymn led me to John 7:37-39.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.”
W.D. Cornell knew what Jesus meant by these words, and must have composed this hymn “Wonderful Peace” (sheet music) with this text in mind.
The world and God’s people are in need of such peace as Jesus gives. It is a peace that comes from the Father through Jesus Christ, in the power of His Spirit and His Word. It is a peace that passes understanding, that keeps the heart and mind in Christ Jesus. It is the peace of God. (Philippians 4:7) He is the God of peace. (Hebrews 13:20) He is the very God of peace, Who sanctifies us. (1 Thessalonians 5:23) Peace is from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. (2 Timothy 1:2) Christ is our peace. (Ephesians 2:14) Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22) And the work of righteousness shall be peace. (Isaiah 32:18) Great peace have they which love His law. (Psalm 118:165) Peace is to the brethren, with love and faith. (Ephesians 6:23)
When I read of such peace in His Word there is the same sense in me that was in the writer of this hymn. When I come to Christ in obedience to His word, in prayer, praising Him, trusting Him, loving Him, asking for this river of living water, He is gracious to give, as He has promised.
The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that “All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.” (1:7)
The fullness of God is waiting to be poured out into waiting and willing hearts. I pray for this greater love and peace that washes over us conforming us to the image of Christ, His Son. His fullness is not ours alone, but to make us riverbeds over and through which He reaches His people. He, by His Spirit and the washing of the water by the word, provides a channel through which His grace and love can flow unhindered.
“Jesus calls us o’er the tumult of the world’s wild, restless sea.
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth, saying, “Christian, follow me.”
I pray that He would make us channels for His Spirit, and fill us to overflowing with praise, prayer, and the proclamation of the love of Christ, that others may know His peace—for His glory and our joy.
“Hereby perceive we the love of God,
because he laid down his life for us;
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
1 John 3:16
(From Waiting is Not a Game ~ Articles of Faith 2007)