John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Knowing Christ – it’s something that is so deep that it’s hard to put into words, yet so simple that it can be captured in a very short sentence or even a single term. Years ago, in an adult Sunday School class I was teaching, I asked the class how they would describe knowing Christ in the simplest way possible. One person said “it’s the answer.” I’ve never forgotten that. What a wonderful way to think of the reality of knowing Jesus. In Him is every answer to every question that God would have us know the answer to. In Him is all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the fullness of God.
So, what are some other ways to describe the reality of knowing the Lord of Glory? Jesus described it with this wonderful word: peace. Peace with God, inner peace, wonderful peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), in exchange for the fear that a life without Him offers.
Another word: love. God IS love. To know Him is to know a love that is beyond description, a love that is described in four dimensions rather than three (i.e., breadth and length and height and depth per Ephesians 3:18). The world without Christ has no concept of this type of love. It’s a love that’s so strong that it is poured out even on our enemies. It’s a love that says “Father forgive them, for they know now what they do” in response to the hatred of murder on the cross.
Then there is the word joy. For the believer there is a “joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory (1 Peter 1:8).” A small word that captures so much of something that in all its reality is beyond description. Joy in the face of the anxiety and depression that the uncertainties of this world so often bring. It’s such a wonderful term for life in Christ.
Hope: another word that captures the reality of knowing God. Not a hope like that of the world, where so often we hear people say “I sure hope so.” No, this hope is a “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19).” It’s a confidence in the future promises of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that nothing in our present circumstances can ever shake.
Then there is the word life. Not just existence, but abundant life (John 10:10). Jesus is Life. The Father is the Author of Life, and the Spirit is the Life-giving Spirit. Life is what knowing God is all about, i.e., eternal life, the supernatural life that only those who know God can know.
And then there is the word forgiven. No one, absolutely no one, can ultimately forgive sin but God alone (Mark 2:7). Even the Pharisees knew this, but they were so steeped in sin that they were blind to the darkened condition of their own souls. The wonder of knowing that “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool (Isaiah 1:18)” is true for the believer, and no one else.
Knowing God: such a deep and wonderful thing, yet something that can be summed up in such simple yet wonderful words as Knowledge, Peace, Love, Joy, Hope, Life, and Forgiven. Do you know these things? You can, if you would but know God, but there is only one way to know Him. It is by way of knowing Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life – for no one comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6).