“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
If our joy in the Lord is the armor of our souls, then the peace of God completes our protection like a helmet, shield, and bracers. God’s Word imparts a three-fold protection as the Spirit grants us peace with God, peace with the world, and peace within ourselves.
The Devil seeks to strike at our head by attacking our peace with God. The despair we feel over our own sins and our doubt in the effectiveness of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice would be a sure deathblow, were it not for the protective covering God has given us in the Gospel of peace. Because of our sinful condition, peace with God was once impossible. All of our striving and struggling could not remove the taint of sin that bars us from the presence of our Holy God. But thanks be to God that Jesus Christ has won the victory for us and made peace once and for all between God and man! This certain knowledge calms our fears and doubts and imparts the peace of God which protects us from the deadly blows of the Devil’s fatal assault.
But what of the world? Although we will continue to have struggles, conflicts, and frustrations with other people, the cross of Christ also acts as a shield against these adversities. Through the power of the Gospel, we can love and care for even those with whom we find ourselves in conflict. Even if those conflicts persist despite our efforts, we can have peace by trusting in God’s Word and living according to His will. As we walk in His ways, the Spirit will continue to work through whatever situation we are dealing with for the benefit of all. We can be at peace knowing that God is in control even when we fail to see the silver lining in our present struggles. And God even works in some offensive measures through the peace of His people, displaying His own love and light in a dark world as others see our peacefulness and are drawn by it to the cross.
As we enjoy the rich blessings of peace with God and with others, we will also find that God stills our own hearts and minds through His power. The world bombards us with conflicting messages about “personal fulfillment” and “finding ourselves” and entices us with false paths leading to shallow and empty “peacefulness.” But God’s Word offers an inner peace that lasts, as we find true fulfillment for our lives in the first two types of peace; by serving God joyfully in a close relationship with Him, and by serving our neighbor with gladness and being at peace with the world (even when the world is not at peace with us!). Like bracers to protect a warrior’s arms and hands, the inner peace that God grants to us protects our ability to fight for the faith and hold fast to the Sword of the Spirit.
God imparts His peace to us many times throughout the Bible. It is a blessing that serves as a cloak of protection over our souls. Coupled with the joy of our salvation, God’s peace will enable us to resist the fiercest attacks that Satan’s forces are able to muster. In His mercy, God has armed us bountifully for our own protection that we might faithfully march forth into battle for the glory of God and the sake of those who remain lost and in darkness.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You that through the power of Your Gospel I may be at peace with You, with my neighbors, and with myself. Grant that this peace may be evident to all, that they would seek Your face and also receive the benefit of Your eternal peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Lord. Amen.
Note: For much more information about the topic of “peace” and “peacemaking,” please visit “Peacemaker Ministries.” You can find a link to their own blog at the bottom of my website (“Route 5:9″), or click here.