Most people would describe peace as a freedom from disturbances, a time when there’s no war, or the stillness that follows a storm. The truth is that most people would know nothing about peace because they never really experienced it. How can anyone describe something that they know nothing about? The world only has an illusion of peace. “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” (Isaiah 57:21).

Peace is not the end of a war nor is it the absence of a storm. Peace is the calmness you experience while you are in the midst of a storm, like the peace that Jesus had when He was on the boat with His disciples and was asleep in the midst of a storm. On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.  And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.  But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm (Mark 4:35-39).

 

It was a great windstorm, the waves were breaking into the boat which was almost filled with water. Some of the disciples were experienced fishermen. They surely would have seen many windstorms before, but they were now afraid that they would drown. Jesus on the other hand was very soundly asleep. The wind did not bother Him, the waves didn’t wake Him up nor did the water that filled the boat. The disciples had to wake Him up from His sleep. Do you long for this kind of peace? If you do, then you can have it. This kind of peace only comes from Jesus, as He alone is the Prince of Peace. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Some of you are Christians already and believe in Jesus Christ and may now be wondering, why you don’t have peace in your life. Peace doesn’t come because of what you know about Jesus Christ. Peace comes as a result of knowing Christ. There’s a vast difference in knowing about someone and actually knowing someone. Peace comes from the relationship we have with Jesus Christ. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27).

PeaceSometimes people don’t have peace because their hearts are not right with God. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6). There is no peace if we walk in wickedness. Sin steals a person of their peace and relationship with God. When you are in God’s presence, you will experience peace. Sin however separates us from God. Our repentance and God’s forgiveness restores peace. If you are aware of your sins, repent and seek for God’s mercy. If you not sure of your wrongdoings, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them to you.

Strife is a stealer of peace. Have you lost your peace because of some dispute with someone? Are you bitter or resentful towards anyone? It’s not worth living your life in hatred towards anyone. Seek to reconcile with your offender. Forgive everyone and live at peace with all. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Make a decision to forgive everyone then ask the Holy Spirit to give you the grace to forgive them. At times you may be the one that needs to ask forgiveness, at other times you may need to confront someone of wrong doing. Whatever, you do, do it with humility, love and gentleness, keep peace in your heart and having a yearning to reconcile.

There are times when people don’t want to be at peace with you. They may not want to be reconciled, in which case, you can still be at peace with others even if they don’t intend to be at peace with you. You are only responsible for your decisions. You are not responsible for the wickedness of others. You have to forgive everyone, love everyone and be at peace with everyone but that does not mean everyone has to be your best friend. God’s word tells us that we are to pursue peace. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men (Romans 12:17-18). You can go as far as you can possibly go in your peacemaking efforts, after which you accept the situation and make peace with the person in your heart and move on.

In situations where there is constant turmoil, when your heart is seeking peace and the other is sowing discord, peace can be achieved by setting godly boundaries with people that don’t want to be at peace and cause persistent disharmony. Just like how Abraham set boundaries with his nephew Lot. Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” (Genesis 13:8-9). In some situations setting boundaries is the best peaceful solution.

People sometimes lose their peace because of their insecurities and lack of trust in God. If you have more confidence in your ability to solve problems and you don’t rely on God, it will be very stressful for you. God does not want us to rely on ourselves, but to trust in him, because He knows we are not capable of doing all things on our own, but only He is. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you (Isaiah 26:3).

When our assurance is totally on God, when we walk in faith and not by our own understanding, we will experience total peace. Peace is not a feeling, peace is not a thing. Peace is a person, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. When you have Jesus, you will have peace that passes all understanding. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

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