COVID19 hit and the Lord ignited my heart concerning PEACE. It’s as indispensable to the inner-person as air is to the body. What is this intangible? Where do I get it? Can I lose it once I find it? Are there a variety of sources for it or just one? How dangerous are the counterfeits? Can I live without it… because it doesn’t seem like I can? It sure isn’t easy to get my hands on it, or hang onto it once I do.
Never in my lifetime has PEACE been so sought after or so elusive (depending on where you’re looking for it). As I Christ follower, I believe unreservedly that PEACE is found in a single being; that God alone is the source of PEACE and is Himself PEACE (Ephesians 2:14; Philippians 4:7). As one of His followers, you ought to recognize it in me and be able to get it from me.
This is what I’m coming to discover about PEACE (however rudimentarily). It’s set itself up in my mind in the form of three concentric rings.
- INNER RING: the PEACE of God in me
God gave me His PEACE when I became a follower of Jesus Christ (John 14:27; 16:33). It’s one of many gifts He gives to His children. It’s a deposit from Him that I can either draw upon or not, but it’s there for me and there is no end to the supply of it. I’ve been reminded anew that PEACE is not the absence of difficulty but a gift that comes to bear in the midst of hardship and acts as a steadying agent (Philippians 4:7). It is used to keep me upright when a storm would topple me. It bears clarifying: this is God’s PEACE in me.
- SECOND RING: PEACE, the fruit of the Spirit on me
PEACE is also a fruit of the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22-23). I’m meant to bear it just like a fruit tree would bear fruit. I’m actually meant to have branches laden with it if indeed God is truly LORD of my life (John 15:5,8). This is not ornamental fruit. It supposed to do what fruit does: feed and nourish hungry people. That means you. If you are in need; if you are hungry for PEACE, you are supposed to be able to come to me and find it in abundance. It is God’s PEACE (produced by God the Spirit). Not incidentally, this is also the fruit that should come to bear when I’m doing my best to be at peace with others (Mark 9:50; Romans 12:18; 2 Cor. 13:11; 1 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 3:11; 2 Peter 3:14).
- OUTER RING: the gospel of PEACE from me
In the grand scheme, I am also called to be a peacemaker (Matthew 5:9). I am at PEACE with God through faith in Christ, wearing His gospel of PEACE like shoes on my feet that go wherever I go (Ephesians 6:15). I am never more like His child than when I am an agent of the gospel of PEACE, proclaiming the VERY good news that PEACE with God is possible for anyone who would put their trust in Him. I am God’s emissary, charged, and equipped to be a peacemaker.
PEACE… IN me and ON me and FROM me. This is meant to be one of the hallmarks of my life. I’m grateful to the Lord for inviting me to sit awhile under this lovely umbrella of the PEACE of God. He offers PEACE. So does the world. Jesus is keen that I understand there is no comparison whatsoever (John 14:27). Only His PEACE anchors the soul (Hebrews 6:19), steadying it regardless of how tumultuous and uncertain life becomes.
Now may the Lord of peace Himself
give you peace at all times in every way.
The Lord be with you all.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
(A very special thanks to Stacy DeWitt, Michele Telfer, and Dr. Laura Cavarretta for their invaluable partnership in Conversations About Peace . It was a key component the Lord used to solidify these thoughts.)