Peace may look different to others depending on their circumstances. It is hard to nail down exactly what it looks like. It is almost like nailing Jello to the wall. I may describe peace as being one thing but someone else comes up and says that it is something else. We can come up with all kinds of imagery in our heads to describe peace. In some instances, for me, peace looks like all four of my boys are in their rooms asleep (or at least being quiet), and I am free to sit in my dark living room while it is raining outside and watching an old television show called Matlock without interruption. Obviously, this is an extremely shallow view of peace, but we do need to establish peaceful moments in our lives. We all need a way to decompress ourselves from the events of our days but what about our overall peace? As Christians, our view of peace needs to be more than just figuring out a way of having quiet time. Peace is being calm in your heart during the chaos of life.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.
How does this come to be? How does the peace of God guard our hearts and minds? To be honest, I don’t know the answer. I can speculate different ideas regarding how God guards our hearts and minds. It is hard for even the godly man to describe or comprehend the peace of God. It surpasses all understanding. Ultimately, it is there, but only for the one who is in Jesus Christ. With this in mind, there will never be a true sense of peace for those who continue to live and engage in sin.
Psalm 131:1-3 A Song of Ascents. Of David. LORD, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.
David had to learn to reject arrogance and pride in his life. As he approaches the Lord, he is doing it with great humility. The reality of “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” caused him to reconsider his ways. David’s pursuit of faithfulness to God required him to reject himself. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious but sometimes we will get in over our heads. For David, he determined to find satisfaction in God. His desire was to be content with God and His works. This is what we must do. The world isn’t going to help us in finding peace, but God will.
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
James 3:18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
The only way we will find peace in our lives is to be purposeful about it. The world is not going to hand it over to you. We must attempt to be at peace with others. There will always be others who will not return the favor of being at peace with others so we must overcome. It is a learning process, and it is going to take some effort.
What are some of the things that make sleep difficult? Why are there times in our lives that we cannot face certain people? You may begin to answer these questions by shifting the blame to certain situations or the behavior of others. Peace in our lives is our responsibility. If we want peace, we must strive for it. We must initiate peace, even when it is never reciprocated. As much as it depends on “YOU”. Paul doesn’t say to only be “peaceable” to those who are nice to you. He also tells us to “BECOME” complete. This is not something that is automatically done for us. To become something, we must put forth the effort to initiate and create that change. Part of doing that is living in peace. In the instruction we have from James, this is completely practical. Again, we do not seek peace only with people who are like us. We must sow peace in our lives. This must be done even when we know that it will be thrown back in our face.
To wrap this up, we need to look at peace from an eternal perspective. The peace of God is eternal. The world might produce within us a peace that appears to be the answer for our current problems, this kind of peace is temporal, and it is merely circumstantial. Additionally, we may think that there is no peace in our lives due to our current distresses and the turmoil going on in our lives. Do not think this way. Do not limit God in your lives. As mentioned earlier, I don’t know how the peace of God guards our hearts and minds. Here is what I know. If our focus is on getting to Heaven and we never take our eyes away from seeking Heaven, then there will be peace in our lives. You will be comforted through God’s will knowing that He has you in His hands and that you will be with Him for all eternity. This is upon the basis that you are seeking God and being faithful. Peace looks like a lot of things, but I can assure you, it will never be had when living in sin.
By Lee Elkins