What does the Bible say about Peace?
Peace is a highly sought after commodity, no matter where or who you are. However, it’s meaning varies greatly from one person to another. So what does the Bible say about peace? And how should a follower of Christ approach such an important aspect of life?
The True Meaning of Peace
Scripture is pretty clear about the true meaning of peace. It is not found in anything the world can offer, or anything we can achieve in our own power. The collective opinion of the Bible is that the true meaning of peace is seeing and accepting God for who He really is, and living out of that reality. When we rightly see God and allow Him to be Lord, true peace will abound. When our view of God is rooted in truth, trust, and freedom, peace will flow. Inner peace comes from the Holy Spirit, and is a gift straight from the heart of God.
Top 5 Attributes of Biblical Peace
1. Peace that comes from God is different
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. John 14:27
The beauty about the peace God gives is that it is DIFFERENT to the temporary peace the world can give. We get a quick fix of inner serenity through a vacation, spa day, or other diversions. Maybe we have daily rituals to center ourselves or maybe we have habits that keep us distracted from our stress. Either way, peace that we get on our own terms is always subject to our situation and surroundings. As soon as something goes wrong, that calm is in jeopardy. But the peace that Jesus gives is different. Biblical peace is not tethered to physical circumstances. It is not bound by our ability to find inner balance or get our ducks in a row. It is a supernatural “knowing” that God is good, God is present, and God is enough..no matter what.
“If God be our God, He will give us peace in trouble. When there is a storm without, He will make peace within. The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble.”
2. Peace is connected to trust
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isa 26:3
When we cling to our understanding of things, unwilling to allow God’s perspective to shine through, we quickly run into problems. The human mind is simply not meant to see all that God can see. And our hearts tend to get us into trouble, also. Because we are finite, imperfect, and broken – our abilities and strategies will always fall short.
But, if we are able to step outside of ourselves and acknowledge the grandeur of the King’s throne…bow to the authority He holds, and trust the verdicts He declares..then we can enter the path of peace. Even when what our eyes see, what our minds perceive, and what our hearts feel don’t seem to line up with His word – there is peace beyond comprehension when we choose to trust His ways above our own.
3. Peace is found in obedience
Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble. Ps 119:165
And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. Isa 32:17
God gives us instruction and wisdom for OUR GOOD and the good of others. The “do’s and don’ts” of our faith often get misconstrued as a formula to achieve salvation. Nothing could be further from the truth! Obedience to God is NOT a way to attain His love…it is a response to His love. The heart that knows God’s character is liberated to obey the words of God because it is at peace with God. That heart trusts that God has our best interest in mind will quickly follow when He gives instruction.
When you trust that God is who He says He is, you can take great peace in a life of obedience to Him.
4. Peace is important in relationships
So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Rom 14:19
So much of the Bible talks about how to be in good standing with one another. A key factor in many of these verses is seeking out peace with those that are different from us. Peace between other people is a reflection of the peace we have found with God, thus, we are told to do all that we can to maintain healthy relationships. Keeping a cool head, letting love overshadow pride, sacrificially preferring another…these are all Biblical principles that lead to relational peace. Unity within the church is very close to the heart of God. So much so that Jesus tells us that the world will recognize that we are Jesus followers by our LOVE for one another. If you find you are unable to be at peace with someone else, first consider your peace with God. Are you surrendered to Him as Lord in every area of life? Are you trusting Him? Are you living in obedience? If any of these things are off balance, they could be standing in the way of your peace with others.
YWAM values creating a “culture of honor”, which seeks to create peace within relationships by communicating with integrity and humility. At YWAM Asheville we have a saying, “no daylight between us.” This means that we want to walk together so closely, in such inseparable unity, that there is not enough space between us for daylight to get through. Whenever there has been a misunderstanding or grievance between 2 or more of us, we are sure to address it as soon as possible so that reconciliation and healing can begin, allowing peace to cover our team.
5. Peace surpasses understanding
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7
The peace we are given through Jesus is mysterious. It goes beyond logic. As mentioned before, it is not determined by what our surroundings look like. In Acts 7 we are able to read about the very first Christian who is killed for their faith. Stephen was about to be stoned to death because of his public declaration of Jesus, and yet his eyes were fixed on heaven, full of awe and wonder. In the moment Stephen’s life was about to be taken from him, he was full of peace. A peace that saw Jesus on the throne. A peace that saw God for who He really is. A peace that wasn’t attached to his physical safety or comfort.
This is my very favorite aspect of Biblical peace. It gives the believer a glimpse into eternity and allows the heart to take up residence in the Kingdom as opposed to earth.
More Bible Verses About Peace
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Rom 14:17
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” 1 Cor 14:33
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.” 2 Thess 3:16
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isa 12:2
As you can see, the Bible has a lot to say about peace. I think it’s fair to say that Biblical peace is something we can always use more of, and the beauty of it is that there is always more to be had! Youth With A Mission training programs and schools are wonderful places to grow in understanding these 5 attributes. In a YWAM DTS, you will learn to better hear the voice of God, so that you can know Him, understand His nature & character, and obey His leading. You will get a closer look at how God desires relationships to function, and how to cultivate peace in your interactions with others. Students are taken through an overview of the whole Bible, which will give you peace about the authoritative and trustworthy Word of God. On outreach, you will see the peace of God wash over people as you share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. YWAM offers an ideal setting to make peace a part of your daily life, as you learn to know God and make Him known, with a community of Christians around you.