It is true to say that we live in a troubled world. Every day it seems there is news of conflicts, violence and calamities of various kinds. Is it possible to be at peace in such a world? And do we have peace when we look beyond it to the world to come? We will only enjoy true confidence for time and eternity when we turn to the word of God and consider carefully the message of the gospel. In the Bible we learn of the Saviour Jesus Christ who has established peace between a holy God and sinful men. What that peace is we may gather from words spoken by Christ to His disciples in the upper room.
The peace of Christ is a personal peace. He said to His disciples, “My peace I give unto you” (John 14:27). To wish one another peace is a common form of greeting but Christ’s words are more than that: He is actually bestowing His own peace. His precious gift of peace is nothing less than the peace of God which “passeth all understanding” (Phil.4:7). Christ brought about peace with God by His sacrificial death. He “made peace through the blood of his cross” (Col.1:20) by paying the price for our sins. Christ’s atonement, completed at Calvary, removed the enmity which exists between God and men on account of their sin and achieved reconciliation with God for all believers.
From peace with God comes the peace of God. This is produced by the Spirit of Christ who is sent into our hearts when we are born again. The Spirit sprinkles the atoning blood upon our conscience. Trusting in Christ and His merits, growing in grace and assured of God’s love, we are blessed with an inner peace. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom.15:13).
The peace of Christ is a permanent peace. Jesus also said to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you.” A peace which lasts forever! What a wonderful gift! If we have received it then our gratitude to God should be seen in true holiness of life. As the Psalmist put it, “he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly” (Psa.85:8). God will not go back on His promises; neither should believers go back on their vows. Thankfully Christ, as “the Prince of Peace” (Isa.9:6), is able to preserve this bond of peace when we go astray: He enables us to repent of our sin and obtains a pardon for us.
The peace of Christ is a powerful peace. Jesus said finally to His disciples: “not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jesus does not promise peace instead of war but peace in the midst of war. Believers are engaged in spiritual conflict which may be severe at times. They are wrestling against the world, the flesh and the devil. Yet just as Christ once said to the wind and waves, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39) so He is able to give calm to our souls in every situation. That is something worth having!
Do you know Christ’s peace in your heart? It belongs to every believer who is walking with the Lord. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isa.26:3). If you have this heavenly peace then may it be a witness to yourself and to others that you are among the Lord’s chosen ones.