What comes to mind when you hear the word peace? If you are anything like me, a serene scene quickly pops into your mind; one which is devoid of disturbance externally, and is also accompanied by a mental state of relaxation.
In the winter season, my idea of a peaceful scene involves a lightly snow covered house. I am inside by the fireplace with a cup of coffee, a good book and my dog sleeping by my feet. Summer months have me dreaming of a different peaceful scenario. Although these mental images invoke a sense of peace, we all know they are not what comprises true peace, especially in the midst of difficult times.
The Gift Of Peace
For those of us in Christ, we not only have peace with God (which is the ultimate peace), but we also have the provision of peace in the world no matter our circumstances. Jesus gave the promise of peace to His scared disciples shortly before His own death.
Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]John 14:27, Amplified Bible
If ever there was a person who should not experience peace, it would be Jesus in this moment. Even as He is declaring peace to His disciples, He knew what was coming His way. Soon He would be betrayed by a close friend, bound and lead away to several unjust and illegal trials, and eventually condemned to death by one of the most horrific and tortuous means of death ever known to mankind. Even more than that, He would experience the wrath of God poured out on Him and be forsaken by His Father. Talk about immeasurable pressure! And yet, Jesus was the epitome of what it means to be at peace in this moment.
The Discipline Of Peace
Not only did Jesus give His peace to the disciples, He also gave them a command to be at peace. Do not let your heart be troubled. Do not be afraid. We hear those same exhortations all throughout scripture, old testament and new. Yet, there are times in all our lives when peace is non-existent; it is tough to turn the brain off our circumstances and on to the Lord.
In these times I have a choice. Will I live like the world who actually can not attain peace in the midst of trying circumstances? Will I white knuckle it through whatever I am facing? Or, will I trust the Lord and His promises?
“You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”Isaiah 26:3
Does God keep me in perfect peace because of my trust in Him? Somehow yes. However, He does this while my mind is stayed on Him and I’m trusting in Him. Where did this trust come from? God! God is the author and perfecter of my faith and yet I have my part to do in this equation. My part is to keep my mind stayed on the Lord.
So, how does one keep their mind stayed (fixed) on the Lord? The answer is most clearly seen in Philippians 4:6-7…
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The Place Of Peace
The truth is, we are all placing our faith in something as we walk through life. By praying, we are acknowledging there is only one true source of help, namely God. As we bring our prayers to Him, with thanksgiving, the peace which Jesus said He gives to His disciples guards our hearts and minds. This peace is true peace. It is inexplicable and it is a precious gift from the Prince of Peace Himself!