“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
Peace is one of those concepts that I adore, but really struggle to communicate about. It is complex and can mean a number of different things depending on the situation. Context is key when it comes to peace. Throughout the Bible, I see three main areas where peace is mentioned: within ourselves, with God, and with others.
Peace with Us
“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 (ESV)
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
Peace with God
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2 (ESV)
“Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5 (ESV)
Peace with Others
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 (ESV)
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12: 16-18 (ESV)
When we are being filled with and led by the Holy Spirit, then peace will be evident in how we live peacefully with ourselves, God, and others. When we are yielded to the Spirit, the anxieties and worries that used to trip us up, don’t control us like they used to. Because we understand the power of Jesus, we know that we are secure in our relationship with God. And through God’s leading, we can live in peace with others, which is a lot easier said than done.
The world is a mess right now. A roaring dumpster fire is the image that keeps coming to my mind. There’s very little peace in the world right now and I wonder if it’s because we settle for the appearance of peace instead of true peace that comes from God. I don’t think that true peace can be manufactured, if we try to do so, we’re left with a behavior modification plan. Usually, when we try to create peace on our own, we end up settling for niceness which, as Sharon Hodde Miller explains in her book Nice, isn’t at all what Jesus is calling us to.
Let’s take a few minutes, sit in silence, and allow God to examine our hearts and minds. May we allow him to expose those areas of our lives where we lack peace and have the courage to ask for his presence to fill those places.
Peace is accessible to us today, but I believe that we have to follow the path of humility and surrender to get there.
How do you define or identify peace?
How have you experienced peace in your life?
To go Deeper: Read God is Still on the Throne, God Knows us Really Well
Check out Nice: Why We Love to Be Liked and How God Calls us to be More
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