The Blessing of His Peace
The secret of success in this world is peace with God. A lack of peace creates a restless soul and inner conflict. The Bible definition of peace has a lot of meanings. It speaks of completeness, soundness, wholeness, rest, safety and sense of well being, prosperity, security, health, quietness, and an untroubled state. People knowingly and unknowingly counter a lack of peace with all kinds of things. In attempts to rid ourselves of the uneasy feelings of guilt, condemnation, loneliness, discontentment, confusion, depression, anxiety, fear, and torment stemming from a lack of peace we buy houses, cars and other material possession, we tear down and rebuild, start new hobbies, start new lives, and find new friends. These types of lists can be exhausting. When a heart lacks peace, the tendency is to look to anything and everything to stop the raging storm within even if for a moment. The truth is, nothing in this world can produce true and lasting peace because this world is not at peace with God. Apart from God, there will never be peace.
“But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” (Isa. 57:20-21)
The word “wicked” is used to describe anyone guilty of sin and deserving the punishment of death. The word “wicked” refers to any enemy of God guilty of hostility towards God and/or His people.
The Lord Is Peace
Many people are shackled by fears stemming from a lack of peace and never reach their full potential. Judges Chapter 6 records that some time after God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt they began to live wickedly before God and fell into the hands of their enemies. Their enemies came in like locusts stealing, killing, and destroying every good thing God had for them. They ended up living fearful impoverished lives until they cried out to the Lord. Gideon was no different. Gideon was so scared of his enemies that he was threshing wheat in a wine press when the Lord first appeared to him. A wine press is no place to thresh wheat. The Lord appeared face to face with Gideon and told him He was sending him to bring salvation and deliverance from their enemies. The Lord assured him he need not fear because His presence would be with him and he was not being sent alone. Afterwards, Gideon feared death for standing before the Lord but The Lord reassured him by saying, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.“ So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, THE LORD IS PEACE; Jehovah Shalom. Gideon went on and was used mightily to bring deliverance and salvation to God’s people.
Gideon is a type of Jesus Christ. THE LORD IS PEACE is one of seven covenant names for God that Christ fulfilled. The good news of the gospel is that God so loved us that He sent His only Son to give us peace with God. No longer do we need to fear standing before God on the Day of Judgment.
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness on the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)
THE LORD IS PEACE was the message the angels sang and declared at the birth of Jesus Christ saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14) Some interpret this verse to say peace on earth and good will “amongst” men but contrasting this with Jesus’ own words in Matthew 10:34 we can see that is not what the angels meant.
“ Do not think I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34)
Now, it is true, if you accept the Prince of Peace in your heart you will walk in a greater degree of peace amongst men but Jesus Himself said bringing peace on earth “amongst” men is not what He came to do. Do not think Jesus came to bring peace on earth. No sir. He did not come to bring peace, but a sword. There is in fact great division and hostility towards Christ in this world. Jesus says friends and family will be divided along the line of faith in Him. The peace Jesus came to give is peace between God and man.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27)
The peace Jesus gives us is not the same peace most people are thinking of when they think of peace. Jesus gives us “His” peace with God so we don’t have fear standing before God nor do we have to fear death. There was a time before Christ when we were separated from God. We were strangers to the promises of God without hope in this world but now the blessing of God's presence and righteousness are available to establish us in His peace. No longer do we have to live in fear and constant worry expecting something bad to happen. Christ is our peace. “The chastisement of our peace was upon him” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus made peace between God and man through the blood of His cross and reconciled the world unto Himself. God has abolished, through Jesus, the hostility between God and people (Col. 1:19-22). The question is no longer; “Will God be friendly towards us when we stand before Him?” but rather “Will we be reconciled to God through the offering of His Son?” That is the question each of us must answer if we want the blessing of His peace.
Some of the greatest examples of peace found in the gospel accounts of Jesus happened on the raging seas. One evening in the life of Jesus, Jesus told His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” A fierce storm arose along the way and came close to sinking the ship. Jesus was sleeping during the storm while His disciples feared for their lives. They woke Jesus up and He arose and said, “Peace. Be still.” And it became perfectly calm. (Mark 4:39) Another night the disciples found themselves once again on the raging sea. This time Jesus was not with them and the wind had the waves stirred up and made traveling to the other side impossible. It was here Jesus came walking on the water and they were afraid. Jesus assured them by saying “It is I. Do not be afraid.” It is recorded that when they willingly received Him into the boat, the boat was immediately at the land where they were going. (John 6)
Apart from Christ, the hearts of people are like the troubled sea. They are raging and tossed to and fro and need to be at peace with God so they can be at peace with themselves and others. If only people knew the love God has for them and the price God paid for their salvation they could say, “I am at peace with God.” The conflict ended at the cross. We can now stand in the presence of God in righteousness without guilt, fear of death, or condemnation through faith in Christ. Our sin debt is paid. All can be saved and at peace with God.