Would you like to be at peace?
A Christian’s peace does not depend on his or her circumstances. It is not found on the basis as to how well their thought lives are controlled. We do not become at peace by somehow exercising or living focused only on the moment. The basis of a Christians peace is much deeper and much more secure than this.
The Foundation of Peace
We live in a world that is not at peace. The prophet Isaiah describes the peoples’ of the world as a stormy sea casting up dirt and mud. Moreover, no matter how it may appear and what people feel there can be no peace for the world because of the wrong that people do 1(Isaiah 57:20, 21) 20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea; for it can’t rest and its waters cast up mire and mud. 21 “There is no peace”, says my God, “for the wicked.”.
The nursery rhyme ‘Humpty Dumpty’ accurately conveys the reality of the situation. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty together again. The history of the world is full of failed peace talks, broken treaties and shattered dreams. Mankind fell in the Garden of Eden and there is no basis for peace in man’s self-efforts.
No sooner is peace proclaimed in one place then war breaks out in another. Nor is mankind evolving into a superior species. The War to End All Wars was very quickly followed by a Second World War. Our capacity for total self-destruction is increasingly exponentially.
Everyone born into this world is born into a state of war with God. The ruler of this world is currently Satan and fallen man is subject to him. Given our hostility with our Maker and our alliance with the thief and murderer that Satan is it is not surprising that conflict is everywhere.
Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. He was born upon this earth to bring peace. This is what is really meant when the angels sang about peace on earth and goodwill to men 2(Luke 2:14)14 “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men.”. Jesus came to broker a peace treaty between God and man. He did this at great personal cost when he suffered, bled and died at Calvary.
When a person becomes a Christian peace is made with God and the enmity between us and God is abolished 3(Ephesians 2:14-15) 14 For he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in his flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace,. This is the foundation upon which is built peace in our lives. The basis of our peace is none other than the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Given this amazing foundation of peace with God, we can stand upon our foundation and rest even if the earth gives way 4(Psalm 46:1-2) 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we won’t be afraid, though the earth changes, though the mountains are shaken into the heart of the seas;. Since we have peace with God we can be a people who become peacemakers.
It is not possible to be a peacemaker if a person is not themselves at peace. Foundationally those who have truly responded to God have been reconciled to Him 5(2 Corinthians 5:18) 18 But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation;. This brings them into peace with God 6(Romans 5:1) 1 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;. It is not surprising that one of the fruits of the Spirit is peace 7(Galatians 5:22)22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,. As we walk with God and fix our hearts and minds upon Him, we find perfect peace 8(Isaiah 26:3) 3 You will keep whoever’s mind is steadfast in perfect peace, because he trusts in you..
Believers then go into the world with the good news of peace 9(Ephesians 6:15) 5 and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace, and as people respond to this so they themselves find peace with God and within themselves. Truly Christians are peacemakers. This is desperately needed since the world is not at peace but in great turmoil. Peaceful people day to day way will also have a calming effect in their surroundings.
Living at Peace
We are told wherever possible to live at peace with all men 10(Romans 12:18) 8 If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men.. It is not always possible to live peacefully with others. We can be wanting peace when others want war 11(Psalm 120:5-7) 5 Woe is me, that I live in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar! 6 My soul has had her dwelling too long with him who hates peace. 7 I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war.. In this circumstance, we should not compromise on the truth and it may mean that we have to separate from these people or they from us 12(1 Corinthians 7:15)15 Yet if the unbeliever departs, let there be separation. The brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us in peace. . The Bible does not call us to live with those who are at war with us at any price. There are times even as people of peace we have to go to war 13(Jude 1:3) 3 Beloved, while I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I was constrained to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints..
Peace Be Still
Currently around the social media postings is a graphic which basically says that in the history of being calm no-one has ever become calm by being told to be calm. Many people have liked this posting because we can all identify with it. The Dad’s Army character, Corporal Jones used to frequently shout, “Don’t Panic!” but that was exactly what he was doing hence the ongoing humour and joke of the situation.
There is one person who can with all authority tell us to be calm and not to panic and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. In all the history of the world, many have become calm because He has said be calm. Such is His authority He could command a terrific storm to be calm and it stopped its raging and there was tremendous peace 14(Matthew 8:26-27) 26 He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 The men marveled, saying, “What kind of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”.
Again, and again Jesus has told His people to be at peace. Let us take Him at His word remembering what it has cost Him to bring us peace.
- In practice, how can we apply this truth to our lives and enter into the peace that Jesus has bought for us?
- Can you think of times when you remained at peace in difficult and troubling circumstances?
- What enabled you to be at peace?