Peace. It is a concept that often refers to tranquility or a sense of calm. The English definition of the word peace is “free from disturbance.” And yet, in the Bible, Jesus talks about having peace in the midst of turmoil or problems we face in our lives. 

So then the question is, how do we experience something that is “free from disturbance” when we are actually bothered by the circumstances of our life? Well, let’s go back to what Jesus says to his disciples in John 16:33. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

When we look at this Scripture, it is important to know the context of the conversation. Jesus has just explained that He is returning to the Father and sending the Holy Spirit. He tells his followers that they will mourn over what will happen to him, as the remainder of the world rejoices with the perceived destruction of Jesus and his ministry. 

Jesus acknowledges the pain that his followers will experience and yet still tells them to have peace in him. How are they to have tranquility in a moment such as this? The word peace that Jesus uses in this conversation is the Hebrew word shalom. Shalom means wholeness or completeness. Jesus became the complete and unblemished sacrifice for our sins. 

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” 

There is no true peace outside of God. Let’s look at what the Bible says about the peace of the Lord.

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
Romans 5:1-5

“But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.”
Ephesians 2:13-16

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
Colossians 3:14-15

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:6-9

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Galatians 5:22-23

“Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace!”
Proverbs 12:20

“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness(or of good things, or of justice)
James 3:17-18

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
Isaiah 26:3

“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”
Matthew 5:9

This peace is a promise. A promise that Jesus explains in John 14:27. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” The peace of mind and heart that Jesus gives cannot be compared or understood by our finite minds. It’s a peace that is beyond understanding. 

This worship song called P E A C E by Young & Free is a great reminder. Maybe listen to the song while you read these lyrics:

You will stay true
Even when the lies come
Your Word remains truth
Even when my thoughts don’t line up
I will stand tall on each promise You made
Let the rest fade away

There’s a peace far beyond all understanding
May it ever set my heart at ease
Dare anxiety come I’ll remember
That peace is a promise You keep
Peace is a promise You keep

You will stay true
Even in the chaos
Your Word remains truth
Even when my mind wreaks havoc
I will be still for I’ve known all along
My Jehovah Shalom

There’s a peace far beyond all understanding
May it ever set my heart at ease
What anxiety fails to remember
Is peace is a promise You keep
Peace is a promise You keep

You are peace to a restless soul
Peace when my thoughts wage war
Peace to the anxious heart
That’s who You are
That’s who You are

You are peace when my fear takes hold
Peace when I feel enclosed
Peace when I lose control
That’s who You are
That’s who You are

I’ve found peace far beyond all understanding
Let it flow when my mind’s under siege
All anxiety bows in the presence
Of Jesus the keeper of peace
And peace is a promise He keeps

Take heart, friend. Jesus – our peace – has overcome the world. Wherever you find heart today, whatever is reigning in your mind, ask Jesus for his peace. He has overcome the very depths of sorrow. His peace is a promise. God is for you and he loves you.

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