Jeremiah lamented the lack of peace when it was obvious there was none. “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). How many times have nations come together seeking peace and satisfying themselves with temporary measures when all the time, trouble was boiling underneath the talks, sometimes erupting even before treaties were signed.
Nations negotiate, people try to reconcile and groups compromise, all in an effort to live peaceably together. Is this good or bad? Paul advises the Romans “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans12:18 KJV).
He gives the condition, “as much as lieth in you,” to achieve this common peace. In a sense, he says, “Don’t sacrifice your principles or go against your convictions to have peace.”
What will you give up to have peace? If it is only superficial opinions, you can do that. But if it goes deeper to your firmly held belief in right and wrong, peace is limited to a mutual regard between people with different ideas ... not to fight about the matter.
But I want to talk about the inner peace that Christ gives to the individual. Turmoil, fear and peace cannot coexist in the heart of man. It’s not God’s plan for his children to fret and worry, especially when it stems from comparing self-worth, covetousness and yes, jealousy. And it’s unhealthy.
The psalmist had this problem in Psalm 73. He recognized it was not right even as he was complaining about the inequalities of the wicked and the righteous. (Who said the Christian would be able to tiptoe through the tulips and never have problems?) But when David went into the presence of God, his whole attitude changed. He realized he first needed to trust the Lord.
This was said by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33 KJV).
And in John 14:27 (KJV), Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Even in the Old Testament, Isaiah revealed the secret: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3 KJV).
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way ... to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. And what a sweet comfort and assurance when that peace from God above sweeps “over my spirit ... in fathomless billows of love!”
It is incredible that a child of God can have peace in the midst of trouble.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 KJV).