Peace: The Spirit-Filled Life, Day 4
In a world characterized by turmoil, war, and chaos, where evil is called good and good, evil, where it is likely that when you lay your head on the pillow, you will wake up to a world gone a little bit madder, peace is essential in the life of the believer. But not just any peace. Merriam-Webster defines peace as "a state of tranquility or quiet." However, Biblical peace is much more than that. Recall the words of Christ when He said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
The Greek word, eirene (pronounced i-ray-nay), means peace between individuals, harmony, concord, national tranquility, security, safety, prosperity, and an assurance of salvation. Its Hebrew counterpart, shalom, has the connotation of completeness in every facet of life, including contentment in your relationships with God and humanity. But notice, Jesus left us His peace. It's not our peace that has been sanctified; He left us His peace which He walked in while He was here on earth. He didn't want to leave us divided and in partiality. On the contrary, he desired that we be complete and whole. Hence his prayer in John 17, when He prays to the Father that we may be one, even as Christ is one with the Father. But remember, Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Comforter activates Christ's peace in our lives, and this peace permeates every aspect of the Christian walk.
Consider the following verses:
Phil. 4:7, "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
James 3:18, "Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."
Heb. 12:14, "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord."
Is. 26:3, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."
Matt. 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
Rom. 8:6, "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
Eph. 6:15, "And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace."
Col. 3:15, "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful."
If love is our motivation and joy our immediate response, then the peace of God is their guardian. It stands as a sentry over our thoughts and hearts. It is a defining characteristic of the gospel we proclaim. It is impossible to live in a state of anxiety and walk in peace simultaneously. Whether at home, work, play, or fellowshipping with other believers, we are to be known as peacemakers who sow righteousness wherever we go.
Scripture doesn't tell us to pursue peace only with our brethren but with all people. That does not mean that we condone behavior contrary to God's Word; instead, we seek to walk in such a way that the peace exhibited in our life is noticeable and palpable to those around us. Notice in Hebrews, we're told to pursue peace and holiness. Romans 15:13 states, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Part of living a life filled with peace is that it is accompanied by joy; together, they fill our hearts with hope. As the world seemingly spirals out of control, hope is desperately needed, and our countenances as Christians should reflect it.
Again, none of this is possible in and of ourselves. It is troublesome that we do not spend more time contemplating these characteristics of a Spirit-filled life because they are the plumbline by which we can measure our walk with Christ and the effectiveness of our witness. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can see our lives transformed and radiate Christ's glory to the world. Anything that could cause you to worry is nothing in the face of Christ's peace. He is not pacing anxiously. Neither should you. Remember the words of Christ, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
"Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you" (2 Cor. 13:11).