Psalm 29:11 states: “The Lord will bless His people with peace.” In other verses in the Bible we hear this same message. A common Christian greeting is “May the peace of the Lord be with you” or in Hebrew one might say “Shalom.” The peace that I am referring to here is a peace that transcends all understanding. So I ask you right now: Are you experiencing that profound inner peace?
There is an old joke about INNER PEACE that goes something like this:
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without alcohol,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!
Inner peace is no laughing matter and sadly for too many people it seems unattainable. God assures us it is not! It is within reach for you and me. Where does this peace come from; how can we attain it? Have we at some time in our life had this peace and lost it? If so, what caused us to lose it and how can we get it back?
Literally thousands of books have been written on the subject of seeking inner peace. This tells me two things. First, it tells me that throughout human history there is an unquenchable hunger for inner peace. Second, it tells me that I can merely scratch the surface of this quest in my few words here today. I’ll do my best.
Have you ever marveled at the deep peace which Jesus had even in the face of those who mocked Him, hated Him, turned against Him and eventually killed Him? Do you wish you could have that same peace? You can!
John 14:27 states this: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” There is an abundance of theological underpinning packed into this one verse. Notice that Jesus is giving us His peace, in other words the peace that He personally enjoyed. So at the risk of being repetitive He wants to give us that same peace He had as He stared into the face of His crucifixion.
Perhaps like me, your pursuit of peace is often too focused on the elimination of worldly problems, trials and concerns. This is not the lasting peace we seek. In stark contrast to John 14:27, our hearts are constantly troubled and afraid of the future. Any pursuit of peace outside of Jesus Christ is futile. Apart from God, there is no real peace.
Peace does not come from the absence of troubles. God’s peace is unrelated to our human circumstances. Even in the midst of great troubles His peace is available to us. This peace comes not from focusing on our problems but instead focusing solely on Jesus Christ.
Sometimes our pursuit of peace can get all wrapped up in making other people happy or winning their approval. This will also never give us peace. Pursuing peace through others is an unappeasable peace. We can’t find true peace by trying to please them. We will only know God’s peace when our heart rests in His.
Perhaps you are tortured by sins from your past that strip away your peace. Perhaps you harbor some fear of what is in store for you after death. Your guilt tries to convince you that your past will rob you of your eternal future with God. Take heart in this verse from Col 1:20: “and through him to reconcile all things for him making peace by the blood of his cross….”
Since the dawn of mankind we have been defying God. We have rebelled in more ways that we can count. We have had hardened hearts when it comes to God’s teachings. These rebellious actions strip us of true inner peace. To have peace we must remain in God’s presence. Eating, sleeping, working or playing we still must keep God as our focus. It is only when we are focused on God that we can experience peace, even in the midst of pain.
If you and I are not experiencing peace then we must ask ourselves why. We most likely don’t need to look any further than our weekly schedules. How much time do we spend with God? Is our focus on God or is it on this world?
The key to finding that elusive inner peace is to remain faithful to God. We must desire to be where He is. We must spend time with Him. His peace can calm our hearts and wipe away our tears in the middle of even the worst suffering. Phil 4:7 states: “Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” When we have Christ’s peace nothing in this world can dislodge it or take it from us.
“May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16
As always, I love to hear your thoughts and comments below. Additionally, click here to send me an email.