For most of us, peace… seems impossible!
In fact, anxiety, depression and worry are what is normal for us. They are what life seems to be all about. As well as stress, hurry, moving fast, pushing, noise, long hours of work, fear, to-do lists, deadlines, high standards.
But Peace – few of us know peace! Instead we long for peace.
Our souls are sick. We have learnt to adapt to anxiety, fear and worry. We have learnt to adapt to and even love tiredness, sickness, brokenness. This is our NORMAL, the status quo. We have been experiencing this so long, we have learnt to handle it, live with it, build our lives around it, accepted it, learnt a few tricks.
Our lives have taken shape around our brokenness. We know no peace.
Yet, peace is what the Lord wants to give us. It is a gift to us, an experience of life we are to have and an inheritance as the children of God. Rather than taking this peace, we find ourselves running around finding our own kinds of peace and are not prepared to embrace His way for peace.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.
You said, ‘No, we will get our help from Egypt. They will give us swift horses for riding into battle.’
But the only swiftness you are going to see is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you!
One of them will chase a thousand of you. Five of them will make all of you flee.
You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop.”
So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.” Isaiah 30:15-18 (NLT)
Matt 11:28 “‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’”
To Know Him is to Have Peace
From the above verses it is clear that only in relationship with God can peace be experienced. There are many aspects to peace, but when we come into a relationship with God, we receive peace as a gift in our possession. It is one of the many gifts given to us by Jesus, which contribute to the experience of abundant life as Jesus promises in John 10:10.
All of the Trinity is involved in imparting the gift of peace to us. Accepting the gift of salvation offered by Jesus means that we have peace with God the Father.
Notice that in Isaiah 45:7 and John 14:27 is very clear that peace is not a possession of the wicked (Is 48:22), but that only God’s people get to have peace. God’s people walk in peace, and it is a way that the wicked cannot understand, it is foreign to them, because they do not know it (Is 59:8).
The Father, makes peace with us, through Jesus, He is the source of peace. He is no longer our enemy (Romans 5:1), but becomes our Father, we are His children. As Father, He is our protector and provider in every way. We get to step into His love and forgiveness.
Jesus, defeated death and the enemy (Satan) by His death and resurrection. He is the giver of peace and is called the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) and “Lord of peace” (2 Thes 3:16). We no longer have to live in fear of death, we have eternal life and peace (Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 53:5). We no longer have to live in fear of the enemy, Jesus has been victorious over him once and for all, and has established victory for us, for all eternity (Rom 16:20; 1 Thes 5:23). Jesus also makes it possible to live in peace with your fellow man. (Col 1:20; Eph 2:14-18)
The Spirit lives within us. He is the agent of peace in our lives (Phil 4:9). By faith and in trust, He establishes peace in our lives through His power and peace is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit living and operating in us. As we learn to believe and trust in God’s goodness, peace is established in our lives. This co-operation with the Spirit in our spiritual walk, will eventually result in the spiritual product or fruit in our lives and one of these is peace (Heb 12:11)
So, we see that all of the Trinity is involved in giving us peace as our experience. It is our inheritance as the saints. For this reason, one of the names of God is “Yahweh Shalom,” (Judges 6:24) God of Peace.
When do we have peace?
2 Thes 3:16 is clear: “…peace at all times in every way.”
We are to have peace all the time and in every circumstance.
As our faith grows and the power of God’s life begins to grow in our lives, peace will become a characteristic of our person and life. Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, when his mouth was opened prophesized that all believers would walk in peace one day:
“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.’ “(Luke 1:76-79)
Jesus established this peace and now peace will bring life and refreshment to us. Psalm 23, promises that the Good Shepherd will lead us in a life of green pastures and still waters.
So that sickness of our soul, that lack of peace I described earlier, is not God’s design for our lives. Instead, a lack of peace is a warning to us that something needs to be addressed, that there is some area of our lives, where we need to co-operate with the Holy Spirit in order to establish peace in our lives.
Everything in scripture points to us being able to experience peace in our relationship with the Lord and in our day to day experience.
Not experiencing peace can come from a few sources:
- We try find peace of our own making, not God’s kind of peace. Eg. we may fool ourselves that if we have enough money, we will eventually have peace. If we are a good person, then we will have peace.
- Our enemy works in our lives to steal our peace. He comes to steal, kill and destroy and that includes attacking our peace.
- We do not co-operate with the direction of the Holy Spirit in our lives to bring peace about. we are slow to obey, or tolerate strife or unforgiveness in our relationships.
- God removes our experience of peace in order to get our attention, so that we will seek Him out for direction and guidance.
Father, thank you for Your peace and that You give us a peace that goes beyond our understanding. A peace with You, peace with our fellow man and peace within ourselves. Help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that peace may flourish and grow in my life. I declare that I walk on a path of peace with Your help, that in Your company there is quietness and rest.