A Christian Science perspective: The Bible's encouragement, "Let not your heart be troubled" – is it really possible?
In light of the great need for peace today, individually and globally, this statement by Christ Jesus is thought-provoking: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27). Jesus promised us peace, but not in a worldly way through money, possessions, friends, or a career. Although these things may be necessary and supportive aspects in our lives, most of us at one time or another have experienced enough fluctuation in these things to know that no permanent peace rests with having them.
We can pray to God – the source of invariable peace – to understand more fully that we possess this peace as God’s image and likeness no matter what the circumstance may be. The word “peace” used in Jesus’ statement comes from the Greek word meaning “to join.” Included in this definition is “to set at one again” (“Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible”). The word “one” stood out to me. Jesus taught our oneness with God, the only creator. This relationship of God as our Father-Mother and we as His-Her beloved children is changeless and can’t ever be split apart.
Prayer shows us that God, Love – all spiritual goodness, mercy, and abundance – is available to us continuously. We’re inseparable from the calm and joy of Soul and the uninterruptible harmony of Life in which there is no contention. Like the sun’s rays that can’t be cut off from any property of the sun, we’re linked to God and the peace that comes from God. Our inseparability from God is peace itself even if the material senses are telling us that peace has been temporarily lost because of health problems or economic deprivation.
Through persistent prayer that acknowledges and remains resolutely certain about the spiritual fact of oneness with God, human experience can be transformed. This transformation can include release from conflict in relationships, contentious business negotiations, and warring world conditions, and shows us that chance and confusion can’t control our God-governed life. Feeling the stillness that only God can give allows us to respond calmly to God’s constant, fresh direction at home, at work, and in the community.
At one point I was involved with a legal situation that was taking many disturbing twists and turns. Dates to settle the dispute changed five or six times during a year. Finally, after receiving another letter indicating a change of dates, my peace really felt at stake.
I had been praying with a statement by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science and the Monitor. She wrote, “The real jurisdiction of the world is in Mind, controlling every effect and recognizing all causation as vested in divine Mind” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” p. 379).
What a powerful statement of one cause and power. Mind, God – my Mind, the one Mind of all – was ruling in peace in its own sphere of influence and could not be disturbed. The idea came to call an official whose telephone number was on a document I’d received. After explaining the issue to her, she decided to close the case right then and there. Just like that, it was over. Mind’s certainty was a law of peace and clarity to that situation. God’s grace was made visible in an instant.
This was a vivid example to me of God’s ability “to set at one again,” to restore peace to me where peace seemed to have been lost. In our oneness with God, there is no resisting force, no duality of good and evil, and therefore no colliding or disturbing elements. These words follow Jesus’ promise of peace in the same verse mentioned above. “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” We can act on these words because whatever the condition or circumstance may be, the healing power of our God-given peace is always available.
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