Today, in our country, it seems the same. The only way we could get peace is by earning it somehow or by getting on the other side of this pandemic. At every turn, there is a new story of political malfeasance, death due to illness, suppression of American rights, or conspiracies of “true” motivations. This may be the most hostile time I’ve experienced in my short time on this earth. In a time with very little peace, I’ve been reading to try and find the peace of God, and I’ve learned a few things.
1. Peace is the seed of a righteous life.
“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.”
James 3:17-18 (NLT)
In this age, living a righteous life seems to be a minefield. It would be much easier to have a website where you could type in your particular situation, and you would receive detailed instruction on the right solution. We can receive wisdom from God, but how do we know if it is truly from God and not our own thoughts?
This passage in James tells us that this wisdom is peace-loving, gentle, willing to yield, merciful, a result of good deeds, not favoring, and always sincere. It is this peacefulness in dealing with others and putting trust in others that indicates its origin.
We need to plant peace, and our harvest will be a righteous life characterized by selflessness.
2. The peace of God is different.
“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.”
John 14:27 (NLT)
When Jesus promises to leave peace to His disciples, He mentions peace of mind AND heart. He is giving the answer to end the conflict between the mind (our logical processes and understanding) and our heart (the core of our emotions and desires).
God wants to maintain peace between these ever-warring parts of your being. Like two siblings at family gatherings, these two parts never seem to agree on anything, but God gives a peace that bridges the gap between the two.
In a world with our hearts torn between our thoughts and feelings, we need the peace of God right now.
3. The peace of God passes all understanding.
“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.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
It would make sense to have peace when you’re on vacation thousands of miles away from responsibility. Peace would be understandable on the other side of mounting debt. Our circumstances are attributed the glory rather than God.
Peace doesn’t make sense amidst abuse, fear, or uncertainty. It honestly would not make sense to have peace at a time like this. But that’s exactly where God’s peace steps on the scene. Where else could peace come from when it is completely beyond our understanding? That’s the style of our Creator. He steps in and creates things from nothing. A place where He operates best.
How do we receive this peace?
Well, where does this peace come from in the first place?
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”
James 4:8 (NLT)
I’ve seen this verse pop up a bit during this time of Covid 19 awareness partly as a joke, but this verse shows us the reciprocation of movement toward God. Move toward God. He wants a reason to draw closer to you. When you experience hostility during this age, just remember that there is a peace that passes all understanding and is available to you.
You just have to talk to the guy who actually makes it.