Scripture tells us that our God is a God of peace. By “peace,” we do not mean passivity. But we do mean that God gives a blessed calmness of spirit, soul, and body, which is beyond our understanding, and capacity to produce in and of ourselves. Let’s go back and look at the stanza on peace in Marston’s great hymn, “I Thank Thee, Lord,: “I take Thee for my peace, O Lord, my heart to keep and fill, Thine own great calm, amid earth’s storms shall keep me always still. And as Thy kingdom doth increase, so shall Thine ever-deepening peace.”
The first thing that is striking about this hymn is that the peace of God which is a gift, is also a Person. Christ Himself is our peace…just like He is our Shepherd, our love, our strength…so He is our peace. By virtue of this union that we have IN CHRIST, we have His peace. But the question must be asked, “Do we experience His peace ‘…amid earth’s storms?'”
In Paul’s different letters, he often speaks of “putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.” In Colossians 3:12, he declares: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering…” All of these traits of character are Christ’s, not something that we fabricate. We are to called to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, by faith, with regard to all the traits of His character. And so it is with peace…we put on Christ, the Christ of peace, that we might know and experience HIS peace.
Now, this peace is more than just being in harmony with God with regard to His will, purposes, and person. It is a deep calmness of spirit, a quiet and powerful assurance of God’s presence and power. When Jesus was asleep in the ship during the storm, the disciples came to Him fearful that they could lose their lives. When He stood up and rebuked the wind, the sea became very calm. The peace of God is a profound calm that God gives in the storm, but also in green pastures. And it is for all believers who will trust Him for it.
One last thought. Peace in my house is determined by peace in the individual hearts that live in that house. What a blessed experience it is when brethren dwell together in unity, and that peace reigns throughout. There and then is the condition for blessing, and the assurance that it will be so.
“Let the peace of God RULE in your hearts…”