What exactly is this peace that God’s Spirit gives? Many people think of peace as the absence of problems. As the feeling that is experienced when all is well. But the peace of the Lord is not related to circumstances at all. In facts, God’s peace comes to us and endures….regardless of life’s circumstances.
Notice these truths about this peace that comes from God:
- Our peace has nothing to do with our circumstances, and has everything to do with knowing that we have a right relationship with God
- Our peace has nothing to do with daily challenges or crises, and everything to do with knowing that our times are in God’s hands
- Our peace has nothing to do with the conditions of our life, and everything with knowing that God is all-sufficient
- Our peace is an inward repose and serenity of soul that indicates a heart at rest- regardless of our circumstances- as we place complete confidence in God minute by minute.
True spiritual peace comes with knowing that our heavenly Father is continually with us- and indeed He is! God is omnipresent and therefore fully aware of every detail of our life- at every moment and in every place. (Psalms 139:7-12). The key to our peace, then is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God.
Peace also comes with acknowledging that God will supply our every need as well as acknowledging His constant presence.
Philippians 4:19 says “God will supply all your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.”- and, in 2 Corinthians 9:8 that “God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed”. These promises mean that we will never have a real need that God is not able to meet. What a reason for trust that is!
But to enjoy God’s peace, we have to actively trust Him. Jesus stated as a fact, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). But as Christians who abide in Christ there is peace (even in tribulations) as we rest in God’s presence! In the midst of life’s most difficult circumstances, the Spirit’s peace will guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7).
I think of peace as the sacrifice of trust. And you and I make the sacrifice of trust when we face the painful and distressing realities of our life and then choose to trust God instead of panicking or falling apart.
WALKING ON THE PATH OF PEACE
What can you and I do to live in such a way that we can cultivate this gift of His Spirit?
- We can pray! And we should pray first, pray often, and pray continually. When we come to God in prayer and place our worries, fears, doubts, and concerns in His hands, we can be more like Mary (instead of Martha). We’ll be spending time in the presence of the Lord, enjoying fellowship with Him, learning from Him, and worshiping Him- and, yes, experiencing His peace.
- We can pause and turn to the Lord when a crisis or catastrophe presents itself. When we pause to acknowledge God- His presence, His all-sufficiency, His power, His love-He will make our paths straight. Furthermore, once we’ve turned to Him, we will again be in touch with His peace that passes understanding.
- We can peruse the Gospels and study Jesus’ life to see the peace He experienced in stressful situations. We can learn how abiding in the Father directed Jesus’ thoughts, words, deed, responses, and reactions in difficult circumstances. We can carry these instances in our mind and write them on the tablet of our hearts so that we can follow the example of our Savior.
Note: The above information is a study taken from the book, “A Woman’s Walk With God, Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit” by Elizabeth George