Perfect Peace

peaceMy circumstances all to often shadow my peace. One kid gets in trouble at school while the other won’t admit a mistake. My husband seems overloaded with work, leaving little time for family, and friends come to me with their problems but refuse to hear solutions. Hard to know peace, let alone “perfect peace” (Isaiah 26:3) when struggle flourishes around you.

Knowing peace is not easy. Actually, I’m not sure how it’s even supposed to happen. Jesus says He gives peace not as the world gives it (John 14:27). The world’s peace depends on circumstances, which always change. Jesus’ peace depends on Him, and He’s consistent. He never changes.

I know others have more serious situations than me, but comparisons don’t create peace either. They give perspective that can help tremendously, sure, but they don’t remove the existence of that which challenges my peace.

The peace we so often pursue remains ever elusive under the shadow of life’s everyday struggles. Maybe we’re chasing after the wrong peace. Maybe we don’t need to chase peace at all.

So what about Jesus’ peace has staying power? His peace is freely given and exists independent of circumstances. He doesn’t expect anything in return for the peace He gives. And because of His peace, I can choose to not allow trouble and fear to create my heart’s condition (John 14:27).

Living in the Peace Jesus gives means to…

  1. Believe (John 14:1). Faith keeps trouble from taking root.
  2. Take heart (John 16:33). The world can’t beat you because it’s already been beaten.
  3. Go about your work (John 20:21). God’s sending means success is sure.
  4. Not force understanding (Philippians 4:7). His peace doesn’t make sense because we think in terms of temporal instead of eternal.
  5. Let peace rule (Colossians 3:15). In other words, focus on Him, and allow His peace to consume you. Don’t fight it.

Turns out, there’s no “how to” with regard to peace. Peace just “is” because it’s a gift. When we fully focus on Christ, we have peace because our focus determines our reality.

DISCUSSION: How does the peace of God exist in your life today?

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14 Replies to “Perfect Peace”

  1. I am learning more about the sovereignty of God and that gives me peace. When I know He knows best and makes no mistakes says, "Know my peace in all things." Hard lesson to learn. Even harder to practice. but it is it coming.

  2. Peace is always under attack from external sources. Genuine Peace is internal and reigns even in the midst of the greatest storms we can face. This is the peace of Christ within us… No one can give it to you or take it from you, no circumstances can instill it or shake it. When you feel a disturbance of the peace within you it is that you have focused upon the external threats rather than inward to the gift that Christ has for you. When the storms raged in the boat, Jesus was found sleeping while all the disciples were afraid of the storm…what lesson did Jesus share from that experience?

  3. I think being at peace does not necessarily mean you have no discord in your life. I think the peace of God allows you to move through that discord and work through issues with a faith that the discord is not permanent or disabling.

    1. I think you're right, Mark. Peace amidst chaos. Comfort in discomfort. Realizing that as 1 Peter 5:7 and Psalm 55:22 say, He will take care of us. He will not allow us to slip. Realizing that this teaches us dependence upon Him more than it does anything else for us, which is why He allows the discord.

  4. All great responses! I love what Paul wrote in Philippians about how to have peace beyond our understanding.. Focus on Jesus, on the good, be grateful, give thanks for the gift of the Prince of Peace. The world will always have troubles in this life, but God can give us peace, as Jesus said with the storm, "Peace be still". maybe that is the secret, being still and knowing HE is always in control.

  5. When life and the world seem chaotic God provides His peace and gental guidance. We can walk through any situation knowing He is right beside us. That truth gives me peace to walk confidential in the direction God calls me to go in. Great post and thoughts!

  6. Before I started writing I had reached the point where I lived in peace 90% of the time, not because life was perfect, but because I'd developed the habit of going to God right away for all my current struggles. When I started blogging and writing consistently all of a sudden everything changed! I maybe lived in peace 30% of the time!

    This last year and a half has been an education in how to follow God and keep Him first in my life while pursuing goals and writing. It hasn't been a pleasant experience, but it has been a growing experience. I'm learning how to go to God for the problems brought on by writing and working on goals – still not back at my 90% peace level – but way up from 30%. 🙂 I love God – He never gives us more than necessary to help us grow, but He doesn't let us stay status quo either.

    I do believe God always gives success if He calls us to something as long as success is defined by doing His will – but I don't think He always give the success we have in mind – look at Jeremiah. He was successful but no one listened to Him. Jesus was successful and everyone hated Him and crucified Him. I'm learning to be content with just doing what I think He wants me to do even if that doesn't look successful in my eyes.

    1. Such a terrifically encouraging testimony, Barb. True success is that which pleases the heart of God, and it has nothing to do with how it makes us look. Tough lesson to learn, as you testify above, but one that truly helps us know Him more. And knowing Him more leads to more peace. Thank you for sharing this testimony!

  7. For me, peace comes when I focus on God and the eternal. I can trust myself to his care when I remind myself over and over again about his faithfulness and his love. And part of trusting myself to his care is to understand that he's for my ultimate good – and that's not necessarily prosperity and health and safety in this earthly life.

    1. Very well said, Loren. As I have said many times on my blog, our focus determines our reality. Knowing Him more means having more peace. Knowing Him more means trusting Him for our ultimate good, and what that looks like often looks completely different than how the world defines any aspect of success.

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