You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
Could you use some peace today? I know I could. I long to sit beside a quiet lake and soak in the peace, and I bet you would like to join me there. Peace seems to be in high demand, but short supply. Leaders of nations meet at “Peace Summits,” students protest for peace, singers sing songs about peace, and moms hide out in the bathroom for a moment’s peace. Why, when everyone cries out “We want to live in peace!” is peace so elusive?
Peace is not in summits or protests or songs; and any mother of a preschooler knows – you can’t even have peace in the bathroom. What does God’s Word say about peace?
Peace is vital to our relationships – Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone,” and Romans 14:19 says “Make every effort to do what leads to peace,” We are to choose the way of peace between ourselves and others. 1 Peter 3:11 reminds us to “seek peace and pursue it.” That will often require humility, forgiveness and sacrifice. But it is worth it to have peace between our hearts and another’s.
Peace is a holy confidence in the goodness and faithfulness of God – even if our circumstances are less than peaceful. David found this to be true – as we read in Psalm 4. David is in “distress” (v. 1), and he prays for relief and mercy. He talks to himself throughout this Psalm, and comes to the blessed answer: “You have filled my heart with greater joy… I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (v. 6, 7) In spite of his troubles, David knew that God was trustworthy, he need have no fear-he could find restful peace.
Peace comes in the person of Jesus Christ.
Peace on earth must start with peace between God and man. But we are sinful people; and God is holy. How can we ever have peace? Peace with God comes through Christ’s sacrifice. Romans 5:1 tells us “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus took every sin you and I will ever commit, and died on the cross to pay the price for our holiness before God. He more than made a way to God, He is the way to God. And by His sacrifice, we can have peace with God.
Peace with God then opens the way to receive the peace of God. Jesus gave a simple promise to His disciples and to us: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. John 14:27. Jesus didn’t command His disciples to live in peace, rather He left His peace with them, in their hearts. The peace of God vanquishes fear and hate, for we cannot dwell in peace and conflict. This peace is available to all who receive Jesus Christ.
How do we live in this peace each day? Paul’s answer is in Philippians 4:3-7: “Rejoice in the Lord always…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We live in peace when we rejoice in God’s goodness to us, bring every need and desire before Him, and thank Him of what He will do on our behalf. His peace will see us through every day.
Jehovah Shalom – Lord. You are my Peace. Please remind me of your promises of peace when I am surrounded by the storm. Calm my anxious heart with your perfect peace. Amen