When you think of the word Peace, what comes to mind? I tend to think of peaceful things like a quiet place, or somewhere where birds are chirping and maybe the sun is shining with a light cool breeze blowing. I also think of peace in relationships where there’s a lack of tension, there’s harmony and fun. Here’s the definition from Webster’s original dictionary:
PEACE, n. [L. pax, paco, to appease.]1. In a general sense, a state of quiet or tranquility; freedom from disturbance or agitation; applicable to society, to individuals, or to the temper of the mind.
I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty much in line with my thoughts of what peace represents. Now the questions are, how much peace do I have? How much peace do I want? Most importantly, what do I have to do to live a peaceful life? The first thought that comes to mind is to hole myself up in a room and stay away from people! While I’m not always at peace with myself, I’ve certainly found it easier to be peaceful by myself than when you throw other people into the mix. For most of us, however, locking ourselves away isn’t really an option, so instead we get up every day and we encounter spouses, children, co-workers, people on the roads, people at the check out lines, bosses…the list goes on.
Where we tend to lose peace is really around two areas; the first is when someone is doing something or asking us to do something counter to what we want or are desiring as an expected outcome, and the second is when we feel that something we believe is important is at risk of being lost. It almost seems too simple but if you look at the areas of your life where you don’t have peace and really examine the situation, you will most likely find that one of those two situations are at play. Here’s a simple/silly example: Most times after church we go out to lunch with other people. I don’t know about you but I have food I like and food I don’t like and I have places that I like to go and places I don’t like to go because of the food I do and don’t like. So! As soon as we start discussing where to have lunch I usually have a pretty good idea of where I don’t want to go and if suggestions start flying that mention those places I start getting agitated, and the worst scenario is if I put out the suggestion of a place I do want to go and it gets overruled by the majority to go to a place I don’t like to go…well you guessed it, there goes my peace and it takes a little bit for my emotions and attitude to settle down and remember that there are more important things than getting my way to where we go eat!
Like I said, that’s a silly example, but you can replace that scenario with many other more serious ones and you will find a theme of what is most likely keeping you in a place where you do not have peace the way Jesus spoke of peace in John 14. I’ve been really pursuing revelation and wisdom on peace and I came across some amazing scriptures in 2 Peter 1: 2 – 8 that I have been meditating on daily. The scripture 2 Peter 1:2 has been my main focus for the last bit because I really want to get that into my heart. Here’s what it says:
2 Peter 1:2 (AMP)
2 May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is [a]perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and [b]freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, [c]precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
What really jumped out at me was the amplified’s definition of God’s peace:
God’s Peace = perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts.
That’s it, that’s what I want to have in my life regardless of my circumstances, situations or any catastrophe or tragedy. Which meant my question was, “What must I do?” Honestly, I can’t see how I can manage my behavior to get and keep that kind of peace. I can see why Buddhism and meditation and other religions or activities are so prevalent because they create a sense of tranquility and peace but I can only manage myself through discipline for so long because my human nature is just that, human. I need more than myself and Jesus and Peter both say it. Jesus tells us He’s giving us His peace and Peter says may God’s favor and peace be multiplied to us. Here’s what it comes down to, trust. If we can make the decision that we are going to do all that we can do to really understand our Heavenly Father’s nature and put our faith in the fact that, based upon His Word, He is good, He loves us, He’s working everything for our good and that He promises to take care of us in every situation we find ourselves in, then we can begin to look away from the emotions that our circumstances create and put our eyes on Jesus, knowing that God is in control.
Back to the two main reasons we lose our peace which boil down to our idea of how we think something should be or go. This leads to our expectations of what the present or future should look like and how circumstances are lining up with our view of that or our intense desire for that. We have been raised to think certain things, believe certain things and desire certain things, but usually they are the way the world looks at life, not the way our Heavenly Father looks at life. What I’ve found this to mean for me is that He takes me into things that make me very uncomfortable because they don’t fit with where I think I want to go or things that I think I want. What I’m finding out, however, is those very situations are revealing thoughts, behaviors and beliefs that are contrary to how He tells me in His Word I should think, believe, desire or act, and I lay down my opinion on those things and tell Him I trust Him. I tell Him I trust His plan for me because I know He loves me more than anyone could ever love me, and I know He’s the one who created me and knows exactly what needs to happen in my life to get me to where I need to be. Most importantly, I realize that even when I mess up and do something contrary to His Word and plan, He will be right there to help me get out of the hole I dug and I then jumped into and get me back on the right track.
That is all really amazing stuff, but there are awesome things that come after that. As you read the additional passages in 2 Peter 1:3-4 and then 5-8 (I recommend reading in the Amplified Bible to really get the full definition of Peter’s message) you see an amazing progression. Here’s what I suggest. Over the next week read the full passage of 2 Peter 1:2-8 but focus, meditate and pray over verse 2. Really let the definition of the peace that God is giving to us take root in your spirit and then next week we’ll take a deeper look into versus 3 & 4. Once we have a revelation and realization of what God’s peace is we’ll be in a position to let it transform us into someone that can be steadfast in all the circumstances we face!
Resource: If you don’t have an Amplified Bible here’s a link to those versus online https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+peter+1%3A2-8&version=AMP
A Daughter’s Prayer – Holy Spirit, teacher, I pray that my spirit would receive my Abba’s peace and His exceeding great and precious promises that cause me to be fruitful in the knowledge of my Lord. Going about doing good and seeing people set free from the enemy! In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.