I wish to encourage you in God’s peace. Often misunderstood, the peace of God is central to the Christian faith, with approximately 340 mentions in Scripture (ESV), peace is obviously important.
Peace is the one thing that most humans long for. Some think we can purchase it, we take holidays and buy property to accommodate it, we acquire countless possessions hoping they will stimulate it, we consume medication and attend counselling to induce it, yet it often eludes us. We evaluate relationships by its presence, or lack thereof. We change, rearrange, move and manipulate any and everything in life to get it, yet peace cannot be found in any of these things. Sometimes we go to extraordinary lengths attempting to convince ourselves and others that we have it, all the time our denial of its absence only increases the emptiness and lack of it.
God never asks us to be at peace with Him, rather, He wants to be at peace with us, so He made it possible. In our natural state, we enflame His righteous anger with our sin which violates His holiness (Isaiah 64:5-7). Our attempts to do righteous deeds are like a polluted garment to Him, meaning, we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This is where God stepped in, to do what we could not do, to make peace with God through the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15).
New Testament peace speaks of inner quietness and rest, where two are set at one again. Peace with God begins at the Cross because Christ himself is our peace… (Ephesians 2:14), making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:20). Putting our dependence in Jesus Christ, who took our place on the cross, meaning we have been justified (Acquitted of guilt) through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Christ’s redemption (Payment of our sin debt), His reconciliation (Exchange of our sin for His righteousness), is activated within us by the indwelling Holy Spirit at the moment we believe in Christ for forgiveness – that’s Christ’s foundation for everlasting peace. God alone is the author of authentic peace which is supreme in its governing capacity, functioning at the soul level, permeating all spiritual and emotional layers of our hearts and minds, even impacting our bodies.
Philippians 4:6-7 details how we are able to experience daily peace in spite of circumstances. First, choose to not be anxious about anything. Secondly, we hand over everything in our lives, particularly those things which we are inclined to worry about, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving… letting ….your requests be known to God. Resulting in …the peace of God, the realisation of inner rest in oneness with the God you’ve just been praying to. This inner, spiritual calmness, which surpasses all understanding, will guard (be a sentinel to) your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God’s peace is relational, impacting everyone we rub shoulders with, as we strive for peace with everyone… (Hebrews 12:14), turn away from evil and do good; …seek peace and pursue it (1 Peter 3:11), …aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11),
Today, I pray you enjoy fulfilling God’s purpose, let the peace of Christ rule (umpire) in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful (Colossians 3:15). Jesus comforting words spoken to the disciples remain true for us today; 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 (John 14:27), I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Remember, God’s peace:
- Enables joy and empowers rejoicing
- Grants salvation’s assurance and convinces of eternal security
- Motivates prayer and grows confidence in the God who answers
- Develops trust that sees past the present circumstances
- Inspires loyalty, perseverance, and holiness
- Nurtures the desire to see life as God sees it
- Stretches faith for God’s glory and renown
- Sacrificially serves so that others can experience God’s peace also
- Grows a healthy discontentment with this world and it’s sin
- Longs to be with the peace giver – Come Lord Jesus!
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)