Do you have Peace in your life right now? Your answer to this question can profoundly impact how you mature as a follower of Jesus. My guess is you won’t come across many believers or non-believers who wouldn’t be interested in being at Peace.
However, the fast-paced and divisive nature of our world makes Peace something many people only dream of having. But the Peace that Jesus offers is designed to deepen our relationship with Him and protect us from the theology of our culture.
The dictionary defines Peace as “the freedom from disturbance or tranquility; a stress-free state of security and calmness.” In the Bible, the Greek word used in the original text is Eirene (i-ray-nay) which means quietness or rest.
The word “Peace” is used in the King James translation of the Bible 429 times. Jesus Himself was recorded using the word 23 times. One verse that captures the essence of the peace message is in John 16:33, where Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have Peace. In the world, you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus contrasts the challenges and struggles we experience “in the world” with His promise of Peace found in Him.
At first glance, Peace seems like a state of being or a mindset. However, when you look closer at the Peace of Christ, you see a more profound purpose taught in scripture.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, we see a purpose for the Peace of Christ. In Philippians 4:7, Paul writes, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.“ God’s Peace serves as protection for our hearts and our minds. It’s a defense system more than a state of being. Consider the following observations:
- Guarded hearts – Jesus says in Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deed of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these things proceed from within and defile the man.” When our hearts are left un-guarded, we will move towards our sinful nature.
- Guarded minds – Provers 23:7 says, “For as he thinks (man), so he is.” Paul also writes in Romans 12:2, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Paul could have written to be transformed through many Christian practices, including prayer, solitude, or serving others, but He was specific on “renewing of our minds.” When our thinking is left un-guarded by God’s truth, we will move towards the truth system of the world. Paul identifies this in Ephesians 4:17-18, “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.” Ignorance and bad thinking are the result of a mind left unprotected. When we live in anxiousness, fear, and worry, the Peace of God will elude us and leave our hearts and minds vulnerable to Satan’s lies.
Commit yourself to set the worries of the world at the throne of Grace and embrace the Peace of God. Only when our hearts and minds are protected through God’s peace can we be conformed to the image of Christ.