When someone says they want peace, what do they mean?
It somewhat depends on the context.
If two diplomats are talking about peace, they are most likely thinking about peace between countries. If a parent says they want some peace and quiet, he or she is most likely wanting their kids to stop being so loud.
Peace is a major theme in the Bible. One of the places it comes up is in Galatians where Paul names the famous “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23. In Philippians 4 he also speaks about the peace “which transcends all understanding” and which “will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (verse 7).
Pastor and author Tim Keller provides a helpful word about what this sort of biblical peace means: It is “a confidence and rest in the wisdom and control of God, rather than your own.”*
We can have peace because God is wise and knows what he’s doing—even when we don’t. We can have peace because God is in control—even when we’re not, and even when we think we are but are deluding ourselves!
Foundationally, peace is something God gives to us in Christ. It is received, not achieved.
As you go about your day, trust the One who has already worked salvation in the cross and empty tomb. He invites us to live by faith, and continues to live within those who respond to that call. He knows what he’s doing—even when we can’t see five feet in front of our faces. He is in control, not us.
With Jesus, you may still have chaos around you, but it doesn’t need to be within you.
Be at peace. Find confidence and rest in the wisdom and control of God, rather than your own.
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–*Timothy Keller, Galatians For You (The Good Book Company, 2013), 154.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.