The peace God gives
Not only do people who lack peace become immobilized and unable to lead the kind of productive lives that God intends for them, they also have adverse affects on the people around them. At a minimum, those who lack peace are irritable, preoccupied, and hard to live with. More seriously, those without peace can become angry, destructive, and even violent.
The good news is that God gives His peace freely to those who turn to Him. And he gives it in three different ways.
First, He gives the objective peace that we need to have with Him.
The Bible’s description of us is not flattering. It tells us that we have all sinned and fall short of His glory (Rom.3:23), that we suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom.1:18), and are by nature children of wrath (Eph.2:3). Because of this, we are naturally out of accord with Him, and by going our own way we are not at peace with Him.
But God, being rich in mercy, has taken the initiative to do what is necessary to bring peace. He has sent His Son to be the satisfaction for our sins (1 Jn.2:2) so that His wrath would be turned away from us. To experience the resulting peace with Him, all we need to do is believe Him. The promise of the Bible is that “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom.5:1).
Second, God gives us the subjective peace we need to have in our own hearts.
In this world of sin and strife, maintaining your own personal peace is a constant challenge. How easily our peace is upset by even the slightest concern or provocation!
But here again, God provides. To those who commit their cares to Him in prayer, He gives a peace that surpasses all comprehension, and guards the heart and mind (Phil.4:6,7). And because He freely gives His Spirit, this peace can be experienced in any place and any situation. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be trouble, nor let it be fearful” (Jn.14:27).
Third, God gives peace with regard to our relationships with others.
If we are at war with God, and do not have peace within ourselves, it is certain that this will spill over into our relationships. But God, by His grace, can reverse this.
His Word tells us, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with Him” (Pr.16:7). So, if it seems you’re at constant odds with the people in your life, it could be that your ways are not pleasing to the Lord.
Of course, it’s possible to be walking with the Lord and still be out of accord with another. Yet even if you can’t resolve things with that person, you can still have peace with God and yourself if you are doing all that you can to pursue peace with all men (Rom.12:18).
In any case, peace of all kinds begins with turning our hearts to the Lord.
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance” (2 Thess.3:16).