Peace, Be Still!
As Believers, we celebrate Jesus every day, all year round, but in the month of December, we pay special attention. The rest of the world is also celebrating their version of Christmas. It’s ironic that one of the most heated controversies at this time of year is whether the seasonal greeting should be “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” All that tumult and uproar over what is meant to be a celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. Jesus came so that you and I can have peace in every area of our lives. But what is peace?
What is Peace?
The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, is rich in meaning. In the nation of Israel, people greet each other with “Shalom,” knowing that it is the expression of a great blessing. Shalom means completeness, safety, soundness in body, welfare, health, prosperity, peace, quiet, tranquillity contentment, peace used of human relationships, peace with God, especially in a covenant relationship, and peace from war.
That’s quite an exhaustive list. And it is no surprise that our Lord Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He is the source, the rank, and the order of peace. Jesus is peace personified. When He was born, peace was released throughout the earth: peace and goodwill to all men – peace in our inner beings and peace in our circumstances.
Inner Peace and Circumstantial Peace
As you can tell from the thorough description of peace found above, there is a state of peace that originates within us (inner or personal peace) and there is a state of peace that exists outside of us (external or circumstantial peace). We experience personal peace when our hearts and minds are tranquil. We experience circumstantial peace when our surroundings are calm. But sometimes our inner and circumstantial peace doesn’t match up. Let me explain. We can experience:
• inner turmoil while external circumstances are in turmoil
• inner turmoil while external circumstances are peaceful
• inner peace while external circumstances are in turmoil
• inner peace while external circumstances are peaceful
The latter two of these two are full and blessed peace. Through the Prince of Peace, we can take authority over both inner peace and circumstantial peace. When we have the peace of God as our inner peace, our circumstances can come into alignment with that peace and we can see the favor of God in every area of our lives. While we often use our emotions as a barometer of peace, peace extends beyond our emotions.
Peace Is More Than A Feeling
Inner peace focuses on feelings. But peace is much more than a feeling. The peace of God is not something that brings us a temporary state of tranquillity The peace of God goes beyond our own understanding: things may not be going well and we may feel that all is lost, however the peace of God tells us that all is well. God is in control.
Inner peace goes beyond our feelings and even beyond our spiritual awareness of God. It is the actual essence of God manifesting in our lives. Many times, we look toward the supernatural, wanting the earth to shake, the heavens to move, and the angels to show up to tell us things will work out. Much like at the birth of Jesus.
But what we truly need is the peace of God because the peace of God is miraculous. It is the peace of God that moves things in the supernatural. Peace is the doorway through which God releases His blessing.
Peace Is The Doorway
Peace is the doorway to the Father’s working in your life. Don’t take that lightly. God operates in this realm of peace. It is in the atmosphere of peace that He releases blessings into our lives. Peace is the doorway to the miraculous; peace is the doorway to your answered prayer. That’s why the Bible declares, “Be anxious for nothing.” And Jesus said many times “Do not worry.” He knew that anxiety and worry block the door to blessing, while peace guard us from pain and torment.
Peace Guards You
Peace guards your heart and your mind. In fact, the Bible describes peace as acting as a garrison. A garrison is a military base where troops are housed. So peace, with all its defensive weapons and ammunition, is stationed over your mind. It is there specifically to protect your mind and your thoughts.
As you allow God’s peace to prevail in the midst of difficult situations, you can know that your mind and heart are supernaturally protected. Your heart and mind need protection because when you are born again, everything in your life proceeds forth from your spirit. The peace of God guards the sanctuary of your heart, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (NASB).
Peace is Practical
Have you ever been faced with an important decision and questioned the supernatural peace that you sense? Perhaps you’ve wondered if you can trust such peace. The answer is YES! Such peace will sustain you through any situation. Peace is powerful. It will stabilize you. It may make no sense that you have the peace of God, while nothing about the situation seems favorable. But suddenly, everything has changed for the better. It’s amazing.
Basically, you do everything that you know to do and then surrender to the inner peace, forgetting the situation. Before you know it, God has taken care of it!
When you later reflect on what happened, pondering how God resolved your situation, you realize that He moved because you chose to rest in His wonderful peace. But be aware that in order to choose peace, you must exercise discipline over your thoughts and your mind.
Choose Your Thoughts
When our minds are focused on God, He promises to keep us in perfect peace because we trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3). Many people wrongly believe that thoughts are like birds: they may light in your mind, or even build a nest, then come and go as they please. God’s Word is very clear that we have been given the ability to choose and direct our thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 tells us “As a man thinketh, so is he.” Clearly, specific thought patterns lead to turmoil and others that lead to peace.
How are thoughts of peace cultivated? By meditating on the many good things that God has done, is doing and will do for you. By recalling the milestones of your life – all the times that God has proven Himself faithful. By reading the accounts throughout the Bible that illustrate His power and promise to deliver and set people free. Peace will change you and God will change your circumstances – something worry can never do!
Worry the Enemy of Peace
The Christian life is not a trouble-free life, but it can be a worry-free life. We never need worry. In fact we are exhorted not to worry about anything (Philippians 4:6,7). Sometimes when we seek peace, we are really seeking momentary relief from our situation, unaware that the entrance of peace can bring tangible results. The enemy will always use worry to pull us into the realm of frustration. But his tactics need not dupe us. We can be assured that God is an awesome God and that He loves us. Worry is disobedient and unproductive. Your Prince of Peace is a prayer away. Allow Him to reign in your situation.
To Sum It Up
The Prince of Peace has come. We can live confident, assured of God’s care and sovereignty. We can have peace in the midst of troubling circumstance and we can speak peace in to our circumstances. Peace is more than a feeling. Peace is the doorway to blessing, guarding over our hearts and mind. Peace is practical. As we choose our thoughts, peace reigns in our hearts and our circumstances are changed. Worry is a tool of Satan and produces no productive outcome. Choose peace.
Shalom, to you!