The word peace evokes thoughts of of quiet places and rest from our enemies and the noise of battle. Problems are resolved and negative circumstances are removed from our lives.
Some may imagine themselves on Caribbean shoreline, sipping a cool drink, others fishing next to a quiet river, still others resting on a mountaintop after a difficult climb.
There is a "natural peace" in this world. I don't believe we were created and designed by God for constant strife and pressure. We need times of "natural peace" in which we coast for awhile and rest from the weary world.
Jesus told His disciples to rest:
31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.
32 So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers,
Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.
It was God Himself who instituted the Sabbath and gave us an example by resting on the seventh day after creating the world!
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT!
On the other hand, there is different kind of peace that the Apostle Paul wrote about:
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
There is a "peace of God" which transcends our circumstances and "surpasses all understanding!" This peace comes from God. It is imparted supernaturally despite negative circumstances or pressures of life, wherever we may be geographically at any given moment!
Paul identifies it as part of "the fruit of the Holy Spirit!"
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Can we have peace in the midst of a stress, battles, pressures in the worst places? Emphatically - yes! We can have God's peace anywhere under any circumstances!
This does not mean that we don't need wisdom when we have a choice of circumstances or location! It is normal to have quiet times and be in quiet places in our lives. Sometimes a lack of peace is brought on by our own choices. We may be taking on too much. We may not be setting appropriate boundaries. Many Christians feel that they must never say, "no" to any request, bringing more burdens than God intended for us to bear! Others may lack peace because they keep emotions "bottled up" rather than communicating them honestly!
IN THE CENTER OF GOD'S WILL!
We must be prayerful about what God wants us to do! When we arrive at a place of confidence that God is calling us to do something, we become candidates for God's supernatural peace!
Does that mean it will come automatically because we are in God's will?
No! being in the center of God's will is a huge step toward entering into "the peace of God!"
However, there is more to do!
Once we have found what God has called us to do and where God wants us to be, we must practice our daily walk with Him!
Notice that, in his letter to the Philippians, Paul connects "the peace of God" with prayer and *supplication! * (Supplication is translated as entreaty, expressing desire and earnest, humble prayer)
The level of our walk with God and our prayer life has everything to do with our level of peace!
Natural peace is limited! Problems and anxiety will follow us to new activities and places, We may obtain some temporary peace by going to a quiet place or changing our circumstances.
But if we can learn how to enter God's presence, we can use the quiet times and places in our lives to enter into His supernatural peace!
I don't want to make this sound like some quick formula for success.
C.S. Lewis wrote a series of books called "The Chronicles of Narnia." Aslan is the mighty Lion who represents Jesus in the series. In one line, it is said of Aslan, "He is not a tame lion!"
The same may be said of God. We cannot "tame" Him! We cannot put Him in our little cage, throw Him some meat and bring Him out to perform tricks for us! His ways and thoughts are infinitely higher than ours! (Isaiah 55:8-9)
We cannot take a quick "one-and-done" quiet time and expect that we will be overflowing with God's peace from that time forward, never again having to spend time in God's presence!
Nor is it true that there will never be moments when our peace is shaken temporarily just because we have developed a prayer life!
Paul himself dispelled this mistaken notion:
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
2 Corinthians 4:7-11
We are humans, subject to human frailties and life is a battle - not a playground. Many things may come along and attempt to shake us from the peace of God!
But God has give us the tools and weapons to overcome!
If we choose to enter the battles of life and develop a lifestyle of seeking God, the peace of God will regularly bring us respite from the stresses and battles of life.
It won't always take the form of removing us from battles or trials. Sometimes, it will come as the sweet, supernatural "peace of God which surpasses all understanding!"
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