Flowers, rolling hills, rippling lakes.
Stars, yoga pants, deep breaths.
Posters, speeches, marching crowds.
There are many ways we try to have peace. Some stereotypical ideas about peace are often appealing, because it’s hard to find peace in the middle of the busyness of life.
More than a feeling
We often describe moments of silence, calm and quiet as peaceful, but these moments are fleeting. Peace is more than an inner zen or meditation. It goes deeper.
The Hebrew word Shalom refers to wholeness and completeness. It is wellbeing in all aspects of life. It’s about all the pieces being in place.
The issue with us is, “sin disrupts Shalom” (Timothy Keller). We’re broken, our complex humanity is out of alignment because of sin. Because peace is holistic, the slightest disruption is harmful. Our sinful nature progressively ruins our Shalom.
But Jesus gives us a lasting peace that the world cannot measure up to (John 14:27).
Jesus is peace
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” Luke 2:14
The kingdom of God is characterised by the peace of Christ when he came to earth. It is one in which there is no condemnation for our sin, but reconciliation and forgiveness. Jesus is the way we are made complete, the way we connect to God.
The complexities and darkness of the human heart are brought to light and we’re made new in his peace. Like a peace treaty, Jesus’ blood signs off our peace with God. Through him, all things are reconciled to God by his blood (Colossians 1:20).
Prayer leads to peace
Prayer leads to a peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). I’ve heard so many people describe an overwhelming peace they experience when trusting in Jesus for the first time. Knowing deep down he is listening and will answer is the reassurance of the peace made on the cross. By giving our circumstances and worries to God, his peace will rule in our hearts.
Modern ideas of peace in being calm and in reconciling conflict are good. Even better is the promise that Jesus will restore us to our complete, whole state when we believe in him.
‘You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.’ Isaiah 26:3