The world places a priority on inner peace, and it offers thousands of suggestions to those who seek “peace of mind and soul.” Usually, the gurus of inner peace point to oneself as the source of peace. There is much talk of meditation, finding an “inner light,” and chakras. If we need any help from outside of ourselves, worldly wisdom says, it will come in the form of a “spirit guide” or perhaps some crystals or herbs. The problem with such advice, besides the obvious endorsement of witchcraft, is that it completely ignores the source of true peace—the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible has a lot to say about peace. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Paul refers to “the God of all peace”. The term peace is often used as a greeting and a benediction (see Luke 24:36). So what exactly is peace, and how can we have “inner peace”?
A word often translated “peace” in the Bible actually means “to tie
together as a whole, when all essential parts are joined together.”
Inner peace, then, is a wholeness of mind and spirit, a whole heart at
rest. Inner peace has little to do with external surroundings. 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.” He had also told His followers that “in this world you will
have many troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). So peace is not the absence of trouble; it is the presence of God.
Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). When the “God of all peace” comes to live inside a believing heart,
He begins to produce His own characteristics in that life. Inner peace
comes from knowing that circumstances are temporary and that God is
sovereign over all.
Peace comes from exercising faith in the character of God and His Word.
We can have peace in the midst of challenges when we remember that “all
things work together for the good to those who love God and are called
according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
We can choose peace rather than give way to fear and worry. Inner peace
resulting from a relationship with God allows us to keep things in
proper perspective. We can accept difficult situations on earth by
remembering that our citizenship is in heaven.
We are commanded to “live in peace” with others, as far as it is up to us.
To live at peace means we interact with those around us in accordance
with our own wholeness of mind. Our reactions to circumstances can bring
peace to an otherwise chaotic situation. Jesus said, “Blessed are the
peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). And James 3:18 says, “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”
God’s desire is that we who know Him learn to live in peace within
ourselves first. Then we can radiate that peace to others, bringing
calmness and wisdom to tense situations, and in so doing be lights in
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