Peace in stressful times can be hard to find until we seek the Peace of God. In our last few posts, we have talked about the first two blessings that Paul imparts to Timothy in his writings to him: Grace and Mercy. Today, we will talk about what may be the hardest one to hang onto: Peace.
**…unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. ** 1 Timothy 1:2
There are more than 400 references to the word peace in the Bible. If the Lord mentions it so often, we should take a few minutes and learn a little more about it.
** And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. ** Luke 24:36
Paul takes his cues from the Lord Himself. Paul understands that his own thoughts and desires and blessings do not have priority. The things that the Lord considers important is what Paul wants to be important. Jesus blessed His disciples with peace, so Paul blesses his own disciples and churches with peace in each of his letters to them.
So, what did peace mean for them and what does peace mean for each of us?
** Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: ** Romans 5:1
**The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)** Acts 10:36
God sent Jesus Christ with the purpose of making peace with His creation once and for all. The day we get saved, we are no longer at war with God. We are no longer in a tug of war over who is in charge. That is great news!
By humbling ourselves before God and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our sin we receive the ** peace that passeth all understanding** today and forever! The conscious act of faith alone, puts us at peace with God. We no longer have to worry about finding peace with Him by trying to fulfill the long list of laws from the Old Testament. We see this confirmed in the story of the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus….
**And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.** Luke 7:50 This woman’s faith in Jesus saved her soul and the Lord gave her His peace. Her simple sacrifice and her belief in all that Jesus taught her gave her the gift of peace from her Savior.
** These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ** John 16:33
The Lord’s peace also comes in the form of daily reassurance of His presence and His comfort. He is there, with us, in every trial and every heartache. If we can remember to focus on Him when things get out of control, we will sense His peace. If we focus on the problem, we will lose His peace and be filled with worry and fear.
That is why Luke tells us that the Lord will ** guide our feet into the way of peace. ** (Luke 1:79): Christ offers us peace for salvation and peace for daily living. Paul desires that all those that he has touched with the gospel would live lives and have hearts full of peace.
** Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ** John 14:27. Too often we allow fear and worry to fill our hearts when the Lord’s peace has already been given to us. We are the ones who make the mistake of stepping away from it. It is our responsibility to find our way back to peace. (See Philippians 4)
** Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. ** Romans 14:19 The Lord has given us peace. We can choose to live at peace within ourselves. We also can choose to be at peace with others.
We don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but we should be the Lord’s instruments as peacemakers. We can work at being better at edifying others, and learn to forgive the little offenses of life. We are all human, we all make mistakes, we all forget to be kind from time to time. As we desire to be forgiven, we need to forgive others. ** Render not evil for evil** but be instruments of peace.
If we find ourselves lacking peace in these busy stressful days of daily life, we can choose to stop and find the peace that the Lord promises us. ** Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, ** 2 Peter 1:2
Our lack of peace may be a signal to us that we need to spend more time getting to know the Author of Peace. If we are to be transformed into His image as Romans tells us, the best way to do that is to study Him and then imitate Him.
We can approach the Scriptures with the intention of truly seeing the Lord as He is. How does He talk to others? How does He handle conflict? How does He treat children? What words does He use to encourage and comfort others? What are His priorities? What does He hate? What does He love?
A better understanding of who He is will help us to see what He still needs to change in us and will help us to exhibit a more peaceful countenance when we realize Who it is that we believe and serve.
**Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. ** Romans 15:13
** Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. ** 2 Cor 13:11