“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” ~ Galatians 5:22-23
Sometimes peace can be difficult to explain because sometimes it can be easy to explain. So instead of trying to explain it, let’s just jump into my first verse.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27
This little quote took place during the Last Supper, just before Jesus was arrested. The interesting thing I found while researching this verse was that by saying this, Jesus was, in a way, writing his last will and testament. Think about it: his soul he gave to his Father. His body he would give to Joseph to be buried. His clothes ended up with the soldiers. His mother he gave to John to care for. And what should he give his disciples, who had left everything ~ their whole lives ~ for him? He had no silver or gold.
But here, Jesus promises to give them something infinitely better than any old gold: his peace. He calls it his peace because he bought it by dying and preached it to us while he was alive. He is our peace.
Peace is for reconciliation and love ~ peace with God, one another, and with ourselves. It’s “a tranquility of mind arising from a sense of our justification before God” and “the counterpart of our pardons, and the composure of our minds” (MHC).
It’s also worth mentioning HOW Jesus was giving it. “I do not give to you as the world gives.” In translation, you might say, “I don’t compliment you by saying, ‘Peace be with you’ ~ I don’t give it as a mere formality, but as a real blessing.” The world’s gifts concern the body, while Christ’s gifts enrich the soul for eternity. The world gives and takes, but Jesus says, “The peace I give is of such a nature that the smiles of the world cannot give it, nor the frowns of the world take it away” (MHC). When Christ gives us something good, it will never be taken away, and his peace is infinitely more valuable than anything the world can give. It begins in grace, doesn’t allow sin, and ends in everlasting peace.
“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” ~ Mark 4:39
We all know the story of how Jesus calmed the storm. The verse I put above is the NIV version, but other versions have slightly different words. But in any version you read, particular influence is being placed on the noisiness of the sea. It’s threatening and terrifying to the disciples, so Jesus is saying, “Let’s hear no more of it.”
The amount of power displayed in just this one verse is astounding. It must be comforting to us that Jesus can silence any storm with just a word. It doesn’t have to be a storm like a hurricane or a thunderstorm, either ~ it also includes the storms that rage inside us. And that’s where my next verse comes into play.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:7
God’s peace is so immense and glorious that we can’t even comprehend it ~ yes, that seems to be the way it is with a lot of God’s gifts and qualities ~ that’s what makes Him so amazing and worthy of our praise. His peace is “the comfortable sense of our reconciliation to God and interest in His favor, and the hope of the heavenly blessedness, and enjoyment of God hereafter” (MHC). Having God’s peace in times of hardship will keep us from sinning and from sinking under the weight of our troubles, which is why it’s so important and helpful to have it. It will keep us calm and inwardly satisfied in God’s ability to take care of whatever is happening in our life.
Christianity obliges us to act peaceably in all situations. We are bound to live peacefully, and therefore to promote peace among those around us. After all, if God is the God of peace, let us be men of peace.
“The God of peace be with you all. Amen.” ~ Romans 15:33