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In a world of constant division and war, what brings you peace? Maybe you feel peaceful when you go on a solitary walk down a nature path. Or when you read a good book. Maybe the only time you feel peace is when all the kids are at school. Our lives are constantly filled with busyness and distraction and turmoil. How can we find peace in the midst of that?
John 14:27 tells us that true peace comes through Jesus: [Jesus said,] “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.” The world gives us trouble and fear. In contrast, Jesus gives us peace. Let’s look at four types of peace that come from knowing Jesus.
1. Peace with ourselves
The peace that comes from God gives us peace in our minds and hearts. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “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 transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This peace from God goes beyond our understanding. This peace carries us through every circumstance, and it comes through constant communication with God.
2. Peace with fellow believers
If we have peace in our hearts and minds because we know Christ, we can also live in peace with our fellow believers. Ephesians 4:2-3 says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” What is the key to living at peace with others who are likeminded? Be humble, gentle, patient, and loving. This takes effort, because none of these things come naturally to us. We can only accomplish this through the work of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us if we are saved.
3. Peace with enemies
Not only can we have peace with those who are likeminded, we can also have peace with our enemies if we are following Christ. Proverbs 16:7 says, “When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.” What does the Bible say pleases God? Having faith (Hebrews 11:6). Keeping his commandments (1 John 3:22). Doing good and sharing with others (Hebrews 13:16). These are only a few of the ways we can please God. If we do these things, God promises to give us peace, even from our enemies.
4. Peace with God
The most important type of peace we can have is peace with God. It’s great to have inner peace and to have peace with the people around us, but if we don’t have peace with God, what good is any other type of peace? Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We can only have peace with God if we first have faith in Jesus. And that faith begins with believing that Jesus is God come to earth as a baby, and that he has the power to save us from our sins through his death and resurrection.
This year at Christmas, in the midst of your family feuds, unmet expectations, and exhaustion, remember that Jesus is the source of peace. He can calm your heart and mind no matter your circumstances if you put your trust in him. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Keep your mind on Jesus this Christmas season (and all year long), and he will give you peace.
Don’t forget to follow along with our Advent calendar! All the verses this week speak about the message of Peace.