Peace is more than non-conflict; it is the deeply rooted sense of contentment that we all have access to in the presence of God. In [John 14:27], Jesus says,
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
I have experienced God’s peace, and it is both perplexing and unforgettable. It contradicts what we see in the world, and it offers something the world does not have. News stations are only too eager to tell us the woes and injustices faced by people everywhere. Mental health is a big issue with problems such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress running rife, even in children. People are unhappy at work, stressed by family relations, overwhelmed by life. True peace, true rest seems to evade those in society, as busyness and all its troubles take over.
We can learn to deal with the grievances and annoyances in life – positive self-talk, distraction, confrontation, ignorance, forgiveness. Better than any life-coping technique, however, is the way to life shown to us in the Bible. I have found that the key to living a life of peace, is to give up my life to the Prince of Peace, Jesus. It is more than a technique; it is a lifestyle of worship, trusting and knowing my identity is found in Him. It is more than a way to cope; it is an attitude of the heart.
Experiencing peace in God is also a choice. I choose to thank God for things, instead of complaining about them. I choose to believe that I am who He says I am, instead of looking to others for approval. I choose to trust that He will bring me through tough situations, instead of feeling sorry for myself. I choose to live for Christ, even if the world opposes Him.
Moreover, it is grace. I can determine to have peace in my life, but it is the grace of God that helps me to persevere in being a peacemaker day after day, week after week, year after year. Through the Holy Spirit, God helps me to forgive others when I find it difficult to do so. He gives me revelation of the plenty He has given me so that I can rejoice, even when comforts on earth are removed.
To our bodies and minds born in sin, the peace of God is foreign. It is our right to feel wronged, to be angry, to be selfish and to fight for ourselves. Yet, the peace of God gives us freedom in that God fights for us, and God always works for our good. If we are secure in this promise that God is for us, why worry? Why stir up trouble when we already have a solution? The presence of God is our peace. It is our assurance of salvation, our hope for eternity, our motivation to push on and to endure. It is the source of our ability to overcome the world no matter who or what we face.
[John 16:33] – “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”