When most people talk about peace, they do so from a viewpoint of peace in this world and peace in their personal life. The Bible uses the word peace in several ways, and by looking at these differences, we can better understand scriptures about peace.
Individual peace is defined in the dictionary as “freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquility; serenity; a state of tranquility or serenity.” When we look at 2 Corinthians 2:13, the term ‘peace of mind’ is often used in translation of Paul’s words when he states he could find no ‘rest of my spirit’ when he was unable to find Titus in the city of Troas. The peace that comes from God gives us rest in our spirits when we look to Him rather than ourselves or others.
In John 14:27, Jesus is speaking to His disciples and tells them, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” And in John 16:33, He tells them again, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Jesus made it clear that there would be trials and tribulations in this life, but at the same time He spoke of leaving us with His peace. These two statements may seem to conflict with one another, but reading Romans 5:1 we learn, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And Colossians 1:20 tells us, “And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in Heaven.” What peace was Paul talking about here? He was talking about the peace that we can have with God by accepting the sacrifice Christ made for us, paying the debt for our sins. Our sin separates us from God, and nothing we could ever do would be enough without Jesus. By the selfless act of our Savior, we have the opportunity to once again have a relationship with our Heavenly Father, because when Christ took our sins, His righteousness was imputed to us, giving us a right-standing before God that we could not have without this precious gift.
Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed upon Thee: because he trusteth Thee.” When our minds are focused on God, on His will for our lives, and upon His Word, we don’t place as much emphasis on the problems we face in this world. When God becomes our priority, trials and tribulations fade in the background. It’s not that we stop having problems, but we can look at them differently, because according to Romans 8:28, (And) “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” With this understanding, we can have peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens, our Father is in control and will work everything out for our best.
Psalm 4:8 says, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” How could David be so sure of this peace? Because He had faith in God and His Word. He trusted God to do exactly as He promised. When we truly know God for who He is, we can have the same level of faith in His promises. And the only way to truly know God is to read the scriptures He left for us. This explains the need to always make time for Bible study, because the more we know the will and ways of our Heavenly Father, the more trust we will have in Him, and the more peace we will have in our hearts and minds as a result.
As children of God, having accepted the gift of salvation, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. And as we know from reading Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Now we have peace with God through our salvation, and peace as one of the fruits of the Spirit; add to that the peace we find when we increase our understanding of who God is and trust Him to do what is best for us, and we start to experience a deeper peace in our lives.
Now, let us add one more thing. What about our actions and reactions? In 1 Peter 3:10-11 we find, “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that speak no guile: let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.” And in Philippians 4:6-7 we read, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Our lives should reflect the changes of the new creation within us as we begin to walk closer with the Lord, And when we add spending time with God in prayer to our lives, going to Him with thanksgiving and praise, then seeking His help in our lives, we find a relationship with Him that is closer than ever.
Looking at all aspects of the peace of God, we see a relationship entwined with love and trust between ourselves and a Creator who wants to give us the best life possible, here and for eternity. When the world starts to pull us away, and the stresses of life start to drag us down, we need to check and see if we are staying strong in studying God’s Word and in seeking Him in prayer. Yes, there will be hardships. No, life is not easy. But God is never far away, and He is always listening. Psalm 29:11 tells us, “The LORD will give strength unto His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.”
His promises are true. Trust Him. And my wish for you all is as we read in 2 Thessalonians 3:16:
“Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.”
Grace and blessings on your path,