On the eve of the execution of Christian martyr Nicholas Ridley (1500-1555), his brother offered to stay with him in the prison to be of comfort. Ridley declined, saying that he planned to sleep as soundly as usual. Because he knew the peace of Jesus, he could rest in his Lord.
The next morning, Ridley told a fellow Christian who was also being executed, “Be of good heart, brother, for God will either assuage the fury of the flame, or else strengthen us to abide it.” Then they knelt and prayed by the stake and, after a brief conversation, were burned to death for their faith.
Jesus had given Nicholas Ridley His peace (John 14:27). But what kind of peace did Jesus have? In Matthew 16:21-23, we see His peace in His determination to go to Jerusalem even though He knew He would suffer and die (see Luke 9:51). Peter rebuked Him, but Jesus trusted His Father and went to the cross. His purpose for living was to die.
Amy Carmichael said, “The peace of Jesus stood every sort of test, every strain, and it never broke. It is this, His very own peace, which He says ‘I give.’”
No matter how big or small our trials may be, we can trust Jesus to give us His very own peace in the midst of them.
For Further Thought
How can we be at peace with God? (Romans 5:1-2).
How do we find peace in our trials? (Philippians 4:6-7).
Have you experienced Jesus' peace?
When Jesus rules the heart, peace reigns.