Every Miss America hopeful since the contest began tells the world her goal in life is to see world peace. That phrase is an oxymoron, like dull roar, or express mail. The two are mutually exclusive.

Jesus says, “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. The key phrase in that verse is: “in me.” Real, abiding peace is in Jesus Christ alone.

Peace is one of the most desirable feelings, yet one of the most elusive today in our culture.

The world calls peace a weekend away from the kids, or a vacation on the beach, or a holiday from work. The world’s peace is temporary, and as soon as it arrives it’s gone. As soon as the world gets to a point when it can catch it’s breath, something or someone comes along to jerk the world back into reality and chaos, where peace escapes again.

Jesus teaches us in John that peace is in Him. In several other passages of Scripture He encourages us how to enjoy peace in Him. As Brother Gearl said when Jesus came in the midst of His disciples in the Upper Room after His resurrection He didn’t say, “Okay, let’s go for it. Everything’s working. This is our time.” Instead Jesus said, “Peace be with you.” The important thing to Jesus seemed to be to assure His disciples that they had nothing to worry about and they could relax in His presence.

For those disciples (and for us today) we can know, as Brother Gearl said, that in the peace of Jesus we enjoy a freedom beyond our anxiety, we can enjoy a confidence beyond our circumstances, and we can have an assurance beyond our questions.

When storms rock our world we can choose to either have the peace of Jesus in and through our circumstances, or we can choose to be in bondage to our circumstances.

Brother Gearl taught us Sunday that three things will help us on the path to God and our journey to the Cross. “You have to understand that sacrifice is a way of life,” Brother Gearl said. The cross is a point of reference in our trials, to remind us of that Jesus is familiar with our pain and that suffering will always lead to joy. “You have to understand love,” Brother Gearl said. “When we understand God and know the love He has for us we can experience that love personally, and draw on that love in the midst of our storms.” And if we understand the peace Jesus gives us, in the middle of our tribulations, it should solidify our faith, give us courage to look beyond the present circumstances to our eternal security, remind us of Jesus promise to us that He is the Overcoming One.