Written by Kacie Drake | ChattHOP Staff
Cue images of beauty pageant queens proclaiming their desire for world peace, bumper stickers with “imagine whirled peas,” tie-dye and peace signs, and some nebulous inkling of sunrises and calm water and doves.
What even is peace?
Close to a decade ago, I heard a pastor share a story about his experience praying for the man he was seated next to on a plane. I hardly remember the details of the story, but the pastor ended up in conversation with the man next to him, and whatever happened in the conversation it ended up with the pastor asking if he could pray for the younger man. I vaguely remember the younger man being Muslim, but whatever his background, the story goes the same:
as soon as the pastor put his hand on the man’s shoulder and began praying, the younger man began to weep. “What is this?” he kept asking. “I have never felt this feeling before!”
The pastor told him very simply that he had just asked God to bring His peace. (And God came near, flooding the young man with peace — with His presence!)
The younger man, through tears, said, “So this is peace? I have never felt this before.”
Can you imagine never having experienced a moment of true peace before?
If you are a Christian – if you are communing with Jesus Christ, you are walking in something that the majority of the world has never experienced.
Peace. We hear the word all the time, but many of us forget that we were made to carry peace. We have been invited to live in peace. We have been promised peace. And all the anxiety and sickness and trial that the Enemy tries to throw at us literally cannot shake the peace that Christ gives us. Daily. Moment by moment. We are not immune to hardship; and yet we are offered perpetual peace.
The majority of the times the word peace is used in the Scripture, its definition includes wholeness, completeness, soundness. In the Hebrew it translates to what we know as shalom.
Here is the good news: when we know Christ, when we are near to Him and believe His love and nearness to us, we are given peace.
So below are some reminders of Truth. It’s so easy to slip into believing that salvation is only what happens upon entering eternal life, after we leave this earth. It’s so easy to forget that the Lord promises freedom and peace and joy NOW, in our current circumstance, in our current city and neighborhood and home. He saves us now. Eternal life is that we may know the Father. John reiterates this in the 17th chapter of his gospel. If eternal life is that we may truly know the Father, we’re walking in eternal life right now! This is GOOD NEWS.
This is the thing that feels too good to be true! And if it feels out of reach, keep pressing into Jesus. Again, His peace does not make us immune to trial or warfare or temptation. But His peace is the thing that surrounds us, beyond our understanding, as we keep pressing on toward the prize, toward Him who IS our wholeness, our completeness, our shalom.
Keep reading. Be reminded of who He is. The Prince of Peace. The Comforter. The King. Be reminded of peace. The thing that you, who know God, carry even now, and can share with those around you, who “have never felt this feeling before.”
The Lord gives us strength; he blesses us with peace. (Ps 29:11)
Let us listen to what God says; he promises peace to his people. (Ps 85:8)
Great peace have those who love His law; nothing can make them stumble. (Ps 119:165)
God will keep in perfect peace all who trust in Him, all whose thoughts are fixed on Him! (Is 26:3)
The Lord has established peace for us; all that we have accomplished He has done for us! (Is 26:12)
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, His unfailing love for us will not be shaken, nor His covenant of peace be removed. The Lord says this, the One who has compassion on us. (Is 54:10)
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Is 55:12)
Jesus himself said: I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (Jn 16:33)
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (2 Thess 3:16)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom 15:13)
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. (Jn 14:27)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)