September 03, 2020
We see a lot of brokenness in and around us. Within us, we suffer the turmoil of anxiety, depression, and sinful struggles. Around us, we experience sickness, corruption, injustice, and death.
Where do we find peace and wholeness in the midst of all these? We find it in a God who brings peace, and who is Peace.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Oftentimes, when we think about peace, the imagery that comes to mind is that of calmness and tranquility. Yet, in the Scripture’s original language (shālôm in Hebrew and eirēnē in Greek), God’s promise of peace speaks of so much more.
Peace means “a state of wholeness” or God’s gift of wholeness. It’s about God bringing His wellness and prosperity (both internally and externally) into our lives. Peace means “soundness that comes from being complete,” being “perfect” because one is whole, with all essential parts joined together. Hence, we have this meaningful phrase on peace: “nothing missing, nothing broken.”
This is the peace that the Bible talks about—the peace God promises that is available for everyone.
God’s word provides us with a rich picture of peace. In the Old Testament we see a glimpse of God’s shalom:
Peace is a promise of God. Peace makes us unafraid. It makes us confident that God will act despite the presence of troubles or enemies. (Leviticus 26:6–10)
Peace comes from restoration and it includes peace between enemies. (1 Samuel 7:14)
Shalom means peace and security within. (Psalm 122:7)
Peace includes fruitfulness and God’s abundance, material well-being, and prosperity. (Zechariah 8:12).
Peace is marked by the presence of physical well-being and by the absence of physical threats like war, disease, and famine. (Isaiah 32:18)
Peace involves the presence of positive and good relations marked by justice. (Psalm 72:3–5, Isaiah 32: 15–18)
In an article published by the Daily Sun, peace is defined as “the completeness and wholeness where the relationships between God and man, man and man, and man and nature are harmonious.”
God’s peace encompasses physical, mental, spiritual, relational, and societal well-being and prosperity. It’s a picture of the world being made right, the way God intended and designed it to be.
Justice, relationships, integrity—we long for these because this was God’s intended design and desire for His people; this is the peace that God had intended since the beginning.
In the New Testament, we see a broader revelation of that peace as the New Testament unfolds the God of peace and the gospel of peace. Jesus represented this peace.
Long before His birth, Jesus’ peace was promised to all on whom His favor rests. Luke 2:14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Jesus declared this peace as He demonstrated God’s kingdom (Mark 5:34).
It’s a peace that Jesus promised His followers amidst the world’s troubles. John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
It’s a peace which the world cannot give. John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Can you imagine that peace—the same peace that Jesus had when He slept through the storm; the same peace when the demands of what He needed to do were overwhelming; the peace He had in fulfilling His mission on the cross—that peace is what He offers.
The apostle Paul wrote about this peace:
This peace is a kind of peace that surpasses all understanding. Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Paul points to this picture of ultimate peace that is the source of true peace. Romans 5:1: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The rule of God and the peace of God were fulfilled in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. No wonder Paul writes of the good news as the “gospel of grace and peace” (Ephesians 6:15; Acts 10:36). Jesus, by His death and resurrection, made peace between God and people and between people and people. Because of Him we can have peace with God, both internally and externally.
This is the peace that is available for all of us amidst every and any circumstance. This is the peace we have in the midst of the chaos and turmoil within us and around us—the peace that God calls us to live out and the peace we are called to extend.
Are you in need of peace today?
Are there areas in your life and around you that need God’s peace?
Do you know of people who need this peace?
This promise is available for you. We pray that the God of peace will meet you and keep you as you trust in Him.
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Receive God’s peace.
Live out God’s peace.
Extend God’s peace.
Peace be with you!