How Well Do You Know Christ, The Peace Of God?
Peace is a rare thing in this world. In the workplace, at home, on the roads and online, we find more conflict than peace. We even find ourselves acting as agents not of peace, but of war.
Those who don’t know Christ as Lord, or who haven’t walked with him for long, may not realize just how much warfare they bring with them to God’s throne.
This is understandable, as the world doesn’t know peace. When Christ calls us, he calls us out of the world, and we bring that lack of peace with us—even as Christ, who is the Peace of God, calls us into God’s peace.
In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (NASB)
Okay, that sounds great. How do we get that peace? Do we sit around a campfire and sing Kumbaya, imagining peaceful Caucasian Jesus in his white robe and blue sash?
Other passages of Scripture help us understand this one.
Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Death? Wow. That doesn’t sound like peace with God. Who will deal with our sin on our behalf? Who will make it possible for us to have peace with God? That verse actually says who (Christ Jesus our Lord), but let’s look at another passage that ties that relationship to God’s peace.
Romans 5:1-2. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
What is this passage telling us?
First, that there is no peace with God except through Jesus Christ. Second, that to find this peace, we must exist in a position of submission to Jesus (“our Lord Jesus Christ”). He must be our Lord—our ruler, king, president, husband, and boss.
What awesome and challenging news. We can have this peace, but we have to make sure that He has really called us (2 Peter 1:10), as it’s He who does the calling, not us (1 John 4:19, 2 Timothy 1:8-9); yet even knowing we are called, we must make the most of his calling by placing him daily on the throne of our lives as our ruler, king, president, husband, and boss.
Does that mean we flip the switch and get total peace for the rest of our lives once we realize he’s called us and we submit to him?
Yes and no. We have that ultimate peace with God, which we will experience fully in the next life, and we know where we’re going. We no longer cower in the dark when faced with God’s righteous judgment. This is ultimate peace, and nothing can take it away from us.
But that doesn’t mean God gives us our lesser, daily peace on a silver platter at all times. In fact, our struggles continue. They may even get harder as his Spirit digs up the rot in our lives. As Jesus himself said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Tribulation, or trouble, can come from the hatred we receive as followers of God—but it can also come from our battle with our own flesh, which also hates God.
Though we have ultimate peace with God and stand before him wearing Jesus’ righteousness (Isaiah 61:10), we will only find as much peace in this life as we care to find in Him. As James puts it, “You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:2b-3)
If we are saved, and we don’t have peace, we should ask for it.
But we must ask for it with right motives—so that we can become more like him, not so we can do whatever we want with impunity. We must exercise daily surrender to Christ’s Lordship to attain daily, moment-by-moment peace with God even as our troubles in this world continue.
Here’s how we do it.
Philippians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Putting the two previous passages together, it looks like we should take our tribulations to God in prayer, both asking for resolution (supplication) and thanking God for who he is and his Lordship over the entire universe (thanksgiving). This is how we begin to make our eternal peace with God real in the present. It’s one way we bring about his Kingdom in ourselves. We can only do it through his power.
So, a question.
Do you know Christ, the Peace of God?
If you don’t, pray and ask him if he has called you. If he has, his Spirit will convict you. You will have no other path but to submit to his amazing power and love.
If you already know him, how much does his peace reign in your life? Are there areas that you don’t want to give up to him? Maybe politics, leisure habits, COVID opinions, music preferences at church, beefs with non-essential theological tenets—there are many things that can get us riled up and disturb the peace of God that ought to reign in us. Ask his Spirit to show you these areas. Ask him to root out any warfare that’s directed at others and replace it with his peace. May your warfare be turned only to your own sin—and to battling the spiritual forces of darkness as you share the gospel and help other believers to grow.
The more we all do this, the more we’ll know Christ, the Peace of God.