The other day in our Sunday morning class, we talked about peace. We looked at some scriptures that have God's promises of peace for us as Christians. We also looked at a passage in Romans 7 that so epitomizes the turmoil that we, as Christians, sometimes experience. What is peace? How do we have peace in the midst of life's troubles? These are the questions we asked. We ended class with a prayer for His peace.
So I've spent some time the past few days in God's word, as i prayed for His peace. Here are several things that stood out to me, based on the passages I read.
1. God is a God of peace. He is THE God of peace. He's in charge of it...He's the One that gives it...you can't have it without Him. This makes sense to me, as it reminds me of one of my favorite verses in Ecclesiastes, which says that He has set eternity in our hearts. We won't be fully satisfied/at rest/at peace without Him.
2. You can't explain it. Jimmy asked us for a definition of peace. He said his wife told him that was an unanswerable question. He asked us to prove her wrong by trying to help him define it. But I'm not sure it can be done. At least not completely. To be able to fully define something, you have to be able to understand it. And His peace surpasses all comprehension.
3. His covenant is one of peace, as He reconciles us to Himself.
4. To live in peace requires effort on our part.
5. Peace is very, very closely related to righteousness. It is because we are reconciled to Him--we are in a right standing with Him--that we can have His peace. His word says that peace is the fruit of righteousness. When we do what is right we avoid the struggle spoken of in Romans 7, and peace is a result.
Below are some of the passages that spoke to my heart:
"The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift His countenance on you, and give you peace."--Num. 6:24-26
"Many are saying, 'Who will show us any good?' Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord! You have put gladness in my heart, more than when the grain and new wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety."--Ps. 4:6-8
"The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace."--Ps. 29:11
"Depart from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it."--Ps. 34:14
"I will hear what God the Lord will say; for he will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. Indeed, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its produce. Righteousness will go before Him and will make His footsteps into a way."--Ps. 85:8-13
"Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble."--Ps. 119:65
"When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him."--Prov. 16:7
"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or peace, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this."--Is. 9:6-7
"The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace because he trusts in You."--Is. 26:3
"And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever."--Is. 32:17
"'There is no peace for the wicked,' says the Lord."--Is. 48:22
"But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed."--Is.53:5
"'For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,' says the Lord who has compassion on you"--Is. 54:10
"I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever."--Ezek. 37:26
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."--Luke 2:14
"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 troubled, nor let it be fearful."--John 14:27
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."--John 16:33
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."--Rom. 5:1
"For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace."--Rom. 8:6
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."--Phil. 4:4-9
"For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven."--Col. 1:19-20
"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord."--Heb. 12:11-14
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."--James 3:17-18