The first thing that often pops into our minds when we hear the word peace is ‘absence of conflict.’ I grew up in a culture that emphasized the believers’ need to keep from all physical conflicts, especially war. Yet, is that what the Bible is really talking about? Throughout the Bible, God demonstrates peace as a right relationship between us and Him. It is comfort in the storms of life, when we realize all that God has done for us (John 16:33). It is confidence in our almighty God when we trust in His great power (Isaiah 26:3). It is calm amidst many worries and cares when we leave our burdens at His feet (Philippians 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:7). It is complete reliance on the Holy Spirit living in those who truly believe, knowing that God defines peace differently than the world (John 14:27). Then we need not be troubled nor afraid ... of anything!
Prince of Peace
Jesus Christ came as our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He is the one that brought to mankind the peace that was needed. His birth announced the fulfillment of God’s promises. His life demonstrated what the Kingdom of God was to look like. His death defeated the power of sin, and reconciling the sinner with God. His resurrection gave hope in the fulfillment of the final promises of God, and the opportunity of living in His presence. If you are searching for peace in your life, then read Ephesians 2:11-15, which clearly states that “He Himself is our peace.” Look no further than the Prince of Peace for true and lasting peace, which results in confidence and fearless living. Later, we are told that when Jesus left the Earth physically, He left behind His Spirit. This Spirit (the Holy Spirit) lives in those who submit to God in faith, and bestows gifts (Galatians 5:22-23) of God’s character, which enable them to live God’s way, and which includes God’s peace.
Power of Peace
So, what does this peace do for you? As was just stated, peace is a characteristic of God that is bestowed on the faithful followers by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is a quality that enables this person to live a righteous life (according to God’s standards) as they are developed in him or her (sanctification). We acquire this peace by rejecting worry, and by laying our burdens at the feet of our Creator with a thankful heart for all that He has provided (Philippians 4:6-7). The peace that God gives this person then exceeds all human understanding. So, others who take notice of your peace should be questioning how it is possible. Then your answer is ‘It is a miracle from God by His grace.’ The wise writer of Proverbs tells us that those who practice and promote peace, have joy (Proverbs 12:20).
Practice of Peace
So, what do you do with this peace? Colossians 3:15 reminds us to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Since peace is a right relationship with our Almighty God, brought by Jesus Christ, then the practice of peace must be in charge of our hearts and minds. We cannot allow circumstances or emotions to control us, but must give that control over to God. This is done through thanksgiving, which is a reminder that God is the one who supplies all that is good, and we can do nothing on our own. It is when we submit to Him, that we can truly accomplish much for His glory. Hebrews 12:14 states the instruction “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” This practice of peace brings about ‘holiness,’ which is to be set apart for God, and living in His righteousness. Without this holiness, we cannot ever be in God’s presence. Thankfully, He make a ‘present’ of this to those who will receive it and ‘strive’ to live in it. We then can pass on that peace to others, being peace makers (James 3:18).
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:18)”
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)”