In my mind peace is one of the tangible highly beneficial fruits that you harvest while growing in God. You might grow an apple tree so that you can have apples to eat. There are many reasons to be in a living relationship with the Lord God, but peace is one of them that you can really feel and reap an immediate benefit from. Peace is also a measure that you can use to determine your growth in God. What I mean to say is that if you are not in peace then you need to grow in your faith toward God.
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; (NIV)
I see peace as working with faith in harmony with your conscience. I don’t believe it is possible to have true peace while disobeying your conscience.
I am a person for whom peace does not spring naturally. I am and as far as I can remember have had an intense desire for justice (not for me! but for those around me ;-). What I mean is that when I see people or the government or an organization or anything that is doing something that is wrong, I feel the need to say something or do something to make it right. That is not the path of peace! This has always been something that I have had to work to stop.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (NIV)
Can you see from the above passage that my inward desire to make things right is at odds with the way of peace? It is true, and I must always be on my guard against my zeal for what is right.
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56 and they went to another village. (NIV)
Do you imagine that Jesus was pleased with those Samaritans? Surely not. I imagine that he was grieved at their attitude because he knew what such an attitude toward him meant. Nonetheless, the Lord just moved on to another village.
We can learn a valuable lesson about peace from looking at the relationship between good parents and their small children. Their children do not have to worry about anything. They are in peace toward the world because their parents will watch over them for good.
I have always found it helpful to identify the opposite of something in order to understand a thing better. I see that worry is the opposite of peace. Worry and its cause are easier for me to see than peace and its cause. If I stop doing the things that cause worry then peace will grow.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (NIV)
Trust in God, have faith in God, believe in God and you will grow in peace. Take a very careful look at verse 33 above. “33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Seek his kingdom and his righteousness inside yourself and you will grow in peace.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
When you are living your life in this world of worry and turmoil, trust in God. The Lord is in control and you are the apple of his eye. When someone is zooming around in their car and wants to cut in front of you, let them; reduce speed, let them in naturally and easily. You, my friends, are to be the oil that makes the machine run smoothly. You are not with the moral police.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. (NIV)
The peacemakers receive in wages peace, in the same way, that troublemakers receive trouble.
Peace my friends.