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Too Hard to Make It Through Life Without Peace – Part 1


 Someone commented on a previous post,

I constantly have so much coming at me. I’m stressed to no limits, and trying to understand the evils of people’s hearts is even more stressing than ever. Can I ever experience God’s total peace? I haven’t had total peace in a long time, seems as if trials never stop in my life, not just for a second. I’m really tired of living in this evil world. How can I find total victory?

Peace Through Life's DifficultiesIn drafting a response to the comment, I realized it required a post devoted solely to the need for peace.  How can we effectively cope without peace as we walk through the difficulties of life?

Peace is Essential to Walking Through the Difficulties of Life

Prior to His death, Jesus spoke with the disciples about the peace He would give them as they faced the troubles of life, knowing that He would be taken from them which in itself had the potential of being quite troubling for the disciples (Jn. 14:27; 16:33).  Before ascending to heaven, the resurrected Jesus met with the disciples and three times repeated the phrase “Peace be with you” (Jn. 20:19, 21, 26).  As He sent them out into the world, where they would face many difficulties, He said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (Jn. 20:21).  Clearly, Jesus recognized the vital role of peace.

The word “peace” occurs at least once in every book of the New Testament.  So many of the epistles begin with a greeting similar to this: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Perhaps this was a common greeting among Christians in those days but certainly God would not waste space in Scripture repeating something that had little or no significance.  Grace and peace are important.  (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; Phil. 1:2; Col. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Philem. 1:3; 2 Pet. 1:2; 2 Jn. 1:3; Jude 1:2; Rev. 1:4)

Inner peace is essential to relational peace.  If the peace of Christ does not “rule in your hearts,” you will not be at peace with one another (Col. 3:15).  So many of the difficulties in life stem from what somebody said or did, from the offenses of people.  How will we navigate these hurts and disappointments if we do not have the peace of Christ in our hearts?  Peace is essential.

Grace and Peace Go Hand in Hand

Apart from the grace of God there is no peace.  The Gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:24) is also described as the Gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15).  Jesus reconciled us to God “by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Col. 1:20).  If we have not responded to this work of grace on our behalf, we will not be at peace with God.  If we are not at peace with God, we will not have inner peace.  “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).

Just as we were saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9), so we walk (Col. 2:6).  To experience that peace through the difficulties of life, we then need to walk by grace through faith.  When we walk by grace we are acknowledging our inability to cope versus His ability to help us cope.  We are admitting our limited resources and His limitless reserve.  We are recognizing our limited knowledge and His omniscient and sovereign place.  The more we make it about Him, trusting Him in the details as well as the big picture of our lives, the more at peace we will be.  — You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  (Isa. 26:3)

Having Peace Starts with Knowing the Source of Peace

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Pet. 1:2)

Do you want peace?  Get to know and rely on a God who is great enough, capable enough, and loving enough to take care of you through both the good and bad times.  You don’t have to like what is happening to you, but you can be at peace because God has your back.  You don’t have to understand everything, but you can be at peace because God is in control.  As you become more thoroughly acquainted with God, you will, along with the Apostle Paul, acknowledge Him as the “God of peace” (Rom. 15:33; 16:20; 1 Cor. 14:33; 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 4:9; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:20).

Notice that knowledge of God and of Jesus not only leads to peace, but an abundance of peace.  The measure of peace He provides is beyond comprehension (Phil. 4:7) and the staying power of His peace is constant (2 Thess. 3:16).  That kind of peace can only come from a source who by His very nature is Himself Peace.

God Gives His Peace Through a Variety of Means

Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. (2 Thess. 3:16)

We need to tap into the means through which He provides peace so we experience the reality of it in our lives.  In the next four posts we will look at the conditions in which peace thrives.  Subscribing to this blog will let you know when new posts are available.


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