Peace Is Possible
When I was a child, I attended a Lutheran school for a large part of my early development. As part of the daily school routine, we went to chapel every Wednesday, and there was also a habit of prayer in our classroom. I will never forget praying for our country and our world when the Persian Gulf War began. I don't remember the details of the prayer by any means, but I do remember praying for peace. As a child, I didn't have a full grasp on what peace meant, so in essence I didn't fully understand what we were praying for. As an adult, however, I understand the importance of not only collective peace, but individual peace.
The word peace is defined two ways by the Oxford English Dictionary; 1) freedom from disturbance; tranquility, and 2) a state or period in which there is no war, or a war has ended. Both of these definitions intrigued me. The first definition of peace makes me think of an environment where all is calm, and everyone coexists with no issues. The second definition of peace really strikes a chord with me because based on this definition, there hasn't been peace in our world for a very long time. Merriam-Webster's dictionary goes on to mention other definitions of the word peace. The definition of peace that stood out to me the most was, "used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm, or as a greeting or farewell." This definition of peace makes me instantly think of the Word of God. When channeling peace from a Christian perspective, consider these three points:
- What does the Word of God say about peace?
- Why is peace so important?
- How do we achieve personal peace?
The Word tells us that By choosing to live a life that is anchored by the Word of God, we are actively demonstrating our pursuit of God's peace. There will always be things in this world that will attempt to sway us one way or another. There will always be temptation around us that can cause us to act out of character, make a bad decision, and lose sight of what is important. All of us sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but if we are truly anchored by Him, we will never be too far away from Him to do what is right (follow the laws outlined in God's Word). When we choose God's path, we will have peace in our hearts. The Word tells us that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. (Matthew 7:13-14, John 14:6) The Word tells us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) When we confess Jesus as our Lord and make a decision to live for Him, there are benefits - including everlasting life and peace. (Romans 10:9)
God wants all of His children to live a life of peace. Does that mean there won't be any problems? Of course not. But it does mean that when trouble arises and tries to take up permanent residence in our heart, we can begin to meditate on Jesus, who He is in our lives, and and allow peace to overcome us. Peace is so important because it allows us to see past our Earthly conditions, to the hope of spending eternity with the Father. God is not a God of disorder but of peace; so wherever there is peace present, He is there also. (1 Corinthians 14:33) And remember, we shouldn't solely pursue peace for our own benefit, but we should also seek to give that same peace to others. (Matthew 5:9) That is how we can carry out peace in our daily lives.
When we come across people, things, or situations that are chaotic, we can choose not to participate, which is a demonstration of wisdom. We shouldn't let anyone or anything take our peace away because our peace comes from Jesus and Jesus alone. If you're not sure how to truly find peace, go to the Word of God, search for scriptures on peace, recite them, and commit them to memory. Here are a few to get you started:
- The Lord gives strength to His people, and the Lord blesses His people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)
- May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
- For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down his flesh, dividing wall of hostility. (Ephesians 2:14)
- Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11)
- Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. (Psalm 119:165)
- And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
As I close, I am reminded of how chaotic the world was when the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged. Since March of 2020, I have participated in a prayer group that prays together every weekday morning. The person who is leading prayer each day rotates, so that everyone who wants to lead prayer, is able to. Each time my turn to lead comes around, I speak a specific passage of scripture to end my prayer. In my mind, not only is it a beautiful passage of scripture, but it also sends everyone off to face their day knowing the power of the Lord is covering them. I offer the same covering to you today:
May the Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace
Amen, Amen, and Amen.
Arichea, J. D. (1987, April). Peace In The New Testament. The Bible Translator, 201-206. Retrieved from Sage Journals: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/026009438703800201
Country Living Yahoo Sports. (2022, August 25). 32 Comforting Bible Verses About Peace of God in Hard Times. Retrieved from Yahoo Sports: https://sports.yahoo.com/amphtml/20-comforting-bible-verses-peace-185100255.html
Merriam-Webster. (2022, September 22). Peace Definition. Retrieved from Merriam-Webster Dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peace
Oxford University. (2022, September 30). Oxford University Press. Retrieved from Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of Peace
The Persian Gulf War. (1999, 2022, May, August 5,23). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/event/Persian-Gulf-War
Tyndale House Foundation. (1996, 2004, 2015). Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Carol Stream, Illinois. All rights reserved.: Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.