Peace is often the thing we crave most, yet often elusive. It is sought by many, and experienced by few. Leaders strive for it and people search for it.
The reason we long for it is because God has put the desire in our hearts, it is how He created us. The problem is…you can’t buy it and you can’t manufacture it.
Definition: A calm state of mind, tranquility, and freedom from strife.
Peace means different things to different people. These are all acceptable descriptions, but they are also temporary, subjective, and dependent on your surroundings and situation.
People deem peace to be an absence of worry so they search for it in tangible, material possessions: more money, a bigger house, a stable job, or a partner. You only have to read the media for a few days and you will soon see that wealth, fame, and comfort, do not guarantee peace.
Peace is more than the absence of conflict, difficult circumstances, or mere comforts. It is completeness, health, justice, prosperity, and protection, and it is a gift from God. You know in your spirit that everything will be ok, that no matter what, God will work for the greater good. Hold onto these promises in all situations.
Peace is a Gift from God
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27.
God is telling us that He does not give us the temporary, material peace that the world offers, He has promised something far more enduring.
Poor Sarah, (Genesis 21) if only she had believed the promise from God, she would not have fretted and worried throughout her pregnancy. Poor us. If only we believed the promises of God. Read His word, believe them, and hold them close to your heart.
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10
Ultimate peace on earth will only come when Christ returns, but until then we must strive to live peacefully in the world.
How To Find Peace
It is easy to feel at ease when your life is good, or you are sitting in a quiet garden … or a remote beach. It is while facing life’s ups and downs daily that it is more difficult. How can we live in the peace that God promises us?
- Obedience to God’s laws and commandments. (2 Chronicles 14:1-6)
- Turn from evil and be intentional in seeking peace. (Psalm 34:14)
- Be holy and make every effort to live in peace with everyone, settle matters quickly with your adversary. (Matthew 5:25)
- Be thankful in all circumstances. (Colossians 3:15)
- Live righteous upright lives. (Isaiah 57:2)
- Honor God. (Numbers 25: 10-13)
The Bible does not say that material possessions will bring harmony to our lives. Instead, feed your spirit with God’s word, prayer, and praise at all times. Then when strife comes, know that the Spirit will comfort your troubled mind. To find real, lasting peace, find God first.
Sin Robs Us of Our Peace
The Bible is very clear on this point. Although God doesn’t go back on His promises, sin has consequences.
If you ever feel uneasy, anxious, or unsettled, examine your heart and life. Is there any reason that could be standing in the way of your peace? It may be a dispute that needs settling, an idol in your life, or a task you are procrastinating. For more on this topic read the post on Procrastination
Many of us think we have it all worked out for ourselves and that the Bible is outdated. Then one day God shows us, that to live a life outside of biblical values and principles opens the portal for strife to enter our lives. God made us, he knows how we function and what we need to live peacefully. We would be wise to abide by it.
Living in Peace
The Bible warns us that we will have trouble in this world (John 16:33) This is not an excuse to fret and worry but rather to rest calmly in the knowledge that God knows what we will face in this world. We need only rest in Him during the storms and at all times exhibit the fruits of the Spirit: Love, joy, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness.
When life is peaceful, make use of the time constructively (2 Chron 14:7) to build up those wells of resources: Health, strong relationships, and spiritual nourishment. Inevitably strife and challenges will come at some point, as God warns us. However, when they do, you will be spiritually and physically strong enough to face the oncoming storms.
When Peace Eludes You
Let’s face it, we are human, there will be sleepless nights, worry, and strife, and we are not going to experience perfect peace 24/7. Here are some handles to get you through those times:
- Confess and repent of any wrongdoing. Ask God to reveal anything to you that may not be obvious.
- Hold onto the promises of God at ALL times. Never falter in your faith and trust in Him.
- Seek God’s wisdom and guidance on what you need to do to restore peace.
- When the situation is out of your control, release it to Him. Easier said than done when we are worrying about loved ones and seemingly insurmountable problems, but it is possible. This is another topic all on its own. I have been there and I see you.
- On those sleepless nights, when you are sick to the pit of your stomach and worry consumes you, call out to God for peace and He will answer your prayer. As David says in Psalm 3:5 “I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me.”
There may be difficult issues and this is where your support system and spiritual strength are needed. But remember, “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.” Phil 4:7
Peace In The New Testament
God sent His son so that we could have peace. In the Old Testament, peace most often meant the absence of war. In the New Testament, following Christ’s birth, there are more references to spiritual peace, a place to be even during conflict.
When Jesus ascended into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit in His place to guide and comfort us. The Holy Spirit controls our minds to bring God-given perspectives. The mind then in turn controls the body’s reaction to fight or flight.
Our bodies may have a normal physiological fight or flight response in times of stress because it is an automatic defense mechanism. We may experience nausea, palpitations, and sleeplessness but this does not mean you have lost your peace. Your mind might be in overdrive because of a situation, that’s what our thinking minds do. It doesn’t mean, you have lost your peace.
Instead, all you are to do is take a few deep breaths and pray. The Holy Spirit will work on your mind to bring your thoughts back into alignment with God’s will and His promise to never leave you nor forsake you.
We deal with this in more detail when we talk about stress, worry, and anxiety.
There are so many beautiful and encouraging scriptures on peace that I was tempted to sprinkle them all over this post. Isn’t that amazing? Instead, I have created a graphic with a few more scriptures for you to download.
If you are feeling stressed or anxious right now, find a pen and paper and a quiet spot as soon as you can.
- What does peace mean to you?
- Describe what peace means to you.
- Write down everything that may be stealing your peace.
- What is worrying you? Is it a current situation? Are you permanently in a state of angst?
- Divide your list into two: those worries you can do something about and those you have no control over.
- For those things you have no control over, hand them prayerfully over to God and let them go. This may take a while, but the more you lay them down, the easier it becomes.