The world is desperate for peace. Peace is something we’ve been seeking forever, really, and we have tried all kinds of things. People have devoted their entire lives to seeking peace, beautiful people who we celebrate because they gave their lives for peace.
We know there are national and international conferences put together in the pursuit of peace. We know many songs have been written about peace. Yet, peace seems to be more elusive today than ever, even more elusive than the last generation.
Peace is one of those things we all seek but we tend to seek sometimes in the wrong way, and the Bible has a lot to say about peace.
About 243 verses are about peace, and there are almost 400 direct references to peace throughout the Bible. If that’s not enough, the Bible begins in Genesis with peace (God at peace with his creation and his people) and ends with peace (God at peace with his creation and his people). But everything in between is this journey toward peace, because peace was broken in Eden, a place called delight, where all was peace. Peace was broken and relinquished, and God in his loving way and in his mercy, pursues to restore peace.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7
What we know right from the start is that we have more than enough peace because we have the Prince of Peace among us. Jesus came, died, rose again, and now, through the power of the Holy Spirit, he is with us.
Let’s define peace, because it can mean a lot of different things for us. The dictionary definition of peace is tranquility, quiet, lack of disturbance, calm, serenity. That’s not a bad thing, but that’s not what the Bible talks about.
The word for peace in Hebrew is shalom, a Hebrew word meaning completeness, wholeness, soundness, welfare. It’s a richer word. This shalom which was there at the beginning in Genesis will be there at the end. We know the end of the story.
Now God dwells in total shalom, and he comes into our chaos and brings his shalom to us. Immanuel, God with us, bringing us shalom. We can’t establish peace on our own.
Shalom is peace with God which then allows for peace between people.
Jesus came to put to death the lack of peace. That’s what he came to do. He came to usher in the peace of God. Isaiah 26 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
The peace we want, the peace that flies in the face of all of the news, the events, the things in our lives and the struggles in our lives. That peace comes from God, and Jesus himself tells his disciples in John 14, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.”
Peace is a gift from God. Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The peace of God guards our hearts and minds. In the Hebrew thinking, the heart was more than our emotions. In this language, the heart is our deepest, most life-giving self. It is guarded by the peace of God which is from God and it is beyond our understanding. It is nothing like the peace from this world.
The Holy Spirit is the one who guards us in that peace. We have the Prince of Peace in the house. We have the Prince of Peace who brought us into peace with God. It is him who showers us with the peace of God beyond this world, beyond our understanding.
Let that peace fill your heart and your mind.
Go, live in peace. How can you bring peace and shalom into your home, family or workplace today?