Peace as I have described so far refers to a feeling of tranquility and undisturbed mind. When I searched the online NIV Bible for the word peace, I found 294 occurrences of the word in the Old and New Testaments. Some of those referred to an absence of conflict or war. Others were used to mean calm contentment, tranquility.
The Hebrew word for peace, shalom was a common greeting in New Testament times. The greeting expressed a wish for health, completeness, wholeness and prosperity in a person’s life, both physically and spiritually.
God has promised His people a covenant of peace, spiritual peace. That covenant did not always involve an absence of conflict or freedom from suffering and trials. The peace God promised would be fulfilled by the coming of His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit which inhabits Christians at their conversion.
The peace of Christ is the knowledge that regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, if we are believer in Him and are obediently following His way in our lives, we can have peace— a calm contentment and tranquility. A firm belief that no matter our circumstances and the outcome, God is in control, yields this peace. Even when bad things happen, God will get us through them. If the situation ends in death, our spirits are transported to heaven where we can spend eternity in a place prepared by God.
However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Peace in true believers’ minds and souls can only be taken from us if we choose not to trust God. There are moments in our lives when we struggle to trust in God. Those moments are not characterized by peace but by anxiety, fear, and sadness.
Jesus told His disciples He would give them peace:
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NASB)
This is a peace that the nonbeliever cannot understand. Believers can also be amazed at the presence of His peace as they go through suffering and trials:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
This peace does not naturally come to us. Scriptures tell us we have to seek peace, work at finding it.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14 (KJV)
Live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11b (KJV)
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 (NIV)
The world and all its distractions, irritations, and temptations work hard each day to steal the peace God has promised us. Our natural instinct is to give over to our human emotions and be upset and sometimes angry. The best solution during these times is to remember what God says about peace by focusing on these scriptures and whispering a prayer that God’s Spirit will fill us with the peace we so often forfeit.
(NIV) Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. NIV®. COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
(NASB) Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE Ⓡ, Copyright © 1960,1962,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
(KJV) Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, KING JAMES VERSION, Copyright © 2000 by The Zondervan Corporation. All rights reserved
(NKJV) Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW KING JAMES VERSION, Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved
© 2017 Jeanne Dial