Today is another theological post because WHY NOT, GUYS. GOD IS AWESOME.
Back in March, I posted about joy. If you read it, you’ll have seen that I am undertaking a study of the fruits of the spirit. I’m on patience now, actually, but I realized I hadn’t written down my thoughts and what I discovered about peace.
So. Here they are!
Also: I have a format now. *snorts and pushes glasses up nose* Because I’m so smart. I have developed three questions that I ask during each study.
1: What is (concept)?
2: What does the bible say about (concept)?
3: What does (concept) look like in our lives?
These three questions are so important. I will now, to the best of my abilities, give you the answers I discovered over the month-ish long study.
What is peace?
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines peace as, "A state of tranquility or quiet: as (a) freedom from civil disturbance (b) a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom." The verb form of the word is, "To be, become, or keep silent or quiet."
Some other definitions include, "A stress free state of security and calmness that comes when there's no fighting or war, everything coexisting in perfect harmony and freedom," and, "Harmony in personal relations."
These definitions have one big thing in common: they require the absence of something. Absence of war. Absence of harm and slavery.
In other words, to fully receive the peace as is defined by the world, you either have to be completely ignorant and oblivious to everything, or live in utopia.
World peace is basically impossible.
So what kind of peace is God's peace? What did Paul mean when he listed it among the other fruits of the spirit?
God's peace, as is the case with His love and joy, is quite different than the world's.
The world requires absence of war. But it is our very human nature to fight. We are constantly at war. Maybe not physically, but our spirit is in a nearly constant battle with Satan. We battle temptations and weaknesses each and every day of our lives.
How can we have peace if that means no war?
This train of thought leads to answers to the second question.
What does the bible say about peace?
Jesus tells us in John 14:27, "My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." And later, in 16:33; "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."
So here, Jesus tells us several things. First, our peace is not what the world would give us. Meaning, no, he's not going to relieve us of war. He's not going to take our trials and our hardships and give us a perfect, undisturbed life. We're going to have trouble in this world. It's just life.
But He's given us instructions. Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious for anything. But for everything, through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Pray. Pray a lot. If you have worries, just talk to God about them. Remember Matthew 6:26. "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. are you not of more value than they?"
God takes care of everything else! Look at His marvelous, delicately balanced creation! What makes you think He'll ever give up on you?
What does peace look like in our lives?
This has been the hardest question with every fruit so far. How to apply it? How to let it change you?
There's no easy answer to this. The main thing is to meditate on it. When you are afraid, when trials come, remember who God is and what He has already done for you. Remember the eternity awaiting you in heaven with God. Remember that He loves you.
In the end, everything is going to be okay. You have to remember that. No matter what, God wins. Paul has it spot on in Romans 9:38-39.
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Take a deep breath. We're going to be okay. In the end, God still wins. And, as His children, we win too. If that doesn't give you peace, I don't know what will.
Your turn! How would you define peace? What are some of your favorite scriptures about it? What do you think peace should look like in our lives? Please tell me your thoughts! <3