Peace – that tranquil feeling that flits in for occasional moments and then disappears for far too long . . . everyone wants it but few have it.
I crave calm. No thrill seeker here. I want peace in my relationships and peace in my heart and mind.
But even as we talk about wanting peace, I wonder if we really know what it is? What is this thing we all want but find almost impossible to achieve?
So, this month we’re going to take a closer look at this thing called peace that everyone wants but finds almost impossible to have and keep.
The simple definition is . . . peace is the absence of conflict.
Honestly, that doesn’t really satisfy me. It feels like there’s something missing.
I need to dig deeper into this idea of peace. I want to know more about having peace with God and finding peace in a sinful world. I want to know how to have peace when life gets bumpy and the differences between peace-makers and peace-keepers.
Once again, a word I use often but still have so much more to learn.
Let’s start with definitions from . . . The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary.
- A state of tranquility or quiet.
- Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.
- Harmony in personal relations.
- A period of mutual concord between governments.
But the reality is there are plenty of things fighting to rob us of peace.
- Chaos in your lives.
- Worry and fear.
- Relationship battles.
- National unrest.
And when I look at that list it’s not surprising that maintaining a sense of peace often feels almost impossible.
Psychologists say there has been a “dramatic spike” in the number of people who suffer with anxiety disorders in recent years.
I wonder, is it possible to have personal peace? For calm contentment to replace conflict, worry and fear?
Which is why I have to start where I’ve started every month . . . vertically.
The God of Peace – Jehovah-Shalom
The Hebrew word shalom is translated as peace, but it so much more than that.
According to Strong’s Concordance – Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.
I love that! That’s the peace I want. You too? Peace that makes you complete!
The kind of peace that makes us complete! Wholeness that can only come from God Himself.
Because sin ended wholeness. It’s the thing which makes peace impossible.
But God… (Oh, how I love that phrase.)
But God who is gracious and merciful gave His plan to restore peace immediately following that first sin.
“And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike His heel.”
You and I sin but God offers peace.
5 Ways God Fills His People With Peace
1. Through Jesus Death and Resurrection –
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is the fulfillment of God’s plan to restore peace. It overwhelms me to think of Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection that removes the remnants of my rebellion and makes me right with God.
My past is completely forgiven. No sin too great. God’s amazing grace!
But He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
2. Through the Holy Spirit’s Presence
Jesus promised the person of the Holy Spirit who would remind people like you and me of all God has done for us and all He promises for the future.
The Helper is the Holy Spirit. The Father will send Him in My place. He will teach you everything and help you remember everything I have told you. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give peace to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. John 14:26–27
3. Through Time in Prayer and Bible Study
I need time in God’s Word and prayer. It takes my focus off my struggles and replaces them with God’s promises of hope that give peace.
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
4. Through People Who Know His Peace
God uses my time spent with peace-filled followers of Jesus like good medicine. It strengthens my spirit and soothes my soul.
Perfume and incense make you feel good, and so does good advice from a friend. Proverbs 27:9
5. Wholeness Through God Himself
God fills me with His presence as He surrounds me with His truth, His grace and mercy, and His love.
We know that we live in God and He lives in us because He gave us His Spirit. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God has God living inside, and that person lives in God. And so we know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love. 1 John 4:13, 15–16
One More Thing
I had an interesting thought the other day.
If someone else stepped into my life for a week would they find peace?
Would they find my calendar too full?
Would they find my relationships encouraging?
Would they find order or cluttered chaos?
Would they find evidence of God’s indescribable peace?
Is my life set up for peace or are there things I need to change? Where do I need to get more intentional about making myself more available to the ways God wants to give me His peace?
I’m hoping you’ll join me on this journey toward peace . . . toward shalom.
“May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord show you His kindness
and have mercy on you.
May the Lord watch over you
and give you peace.”’
Now it’s time for…
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