Peace, Be Still
When are you most at peace? What do you picture in your own mind that gives you peace?
It rained a soft rain much of the night last night. It reminded me of my childhood, at night when I would lay down and listen to the rain gently tapping on the tin roof, I always knew that this night would be a night of peaceful rest.
While doing mission work, in Saipan I would often take a good walk down to the ocean in the early morning and stand and watch and listen to the waves roll ashore and splash against the rocks. So calming, so peaceful.
What is it that makes your heart at peace? Perhaps a sunrise or a sunset? A rainbow?
When you read God’s great book you can find many great treasures that help a person to have peace. Psalm 23 is one of the great writings for peace in times of trial. Another source is Paul. In all the letters he signed, he began by beseeching God’s peace and ended by exhorting the brethren to peace (1 Cor. 1:3; 16:11; 2 Cor. 1:2; 13:11; Gal. 1:3; 6:16; Eph. 1:2; 6:23, etc.).
Peace is often easy in peaceful times. But how can one find peace in difficult times? Paul helps there as well.
After a mob had beaten Paul and were intent on killing him, he did not loose all control (Acts 21:27-32). He maintained his peace. This is clearly seen in the fact that he politely asked the Roman commander if he could speak to the riotous mob about Jesus (Acts 21:37-22:21). Right there, on the stairs, Paul coherently and kindly preached Jesus to them.
When Paul had a thorn in the flesh, it was of such a nature that it was distracting, hurting. He “pleaded” with God three times asking that it be taken from him (2 Cor. 12:7-10). After the Lord replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” Paul changed his mind about this thorn being a disturber of his peace. He wrote, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
For Paul, faith and trust provided peace when times were not peaceful. When the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you…,” Paul believed it.
God’s peace is always available to Christians in any situation. But it requires faith and trust. Paul said, “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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
Is God’s grace sufficient for you in the times that your peace is disturbed? Peter tells us, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Pet. 5:10). The God of all grace is able to make all grace abound toward you in your time of need (2 Cor. 9:8).
Take into your heart with complete faith Paul’s words to the Corinthian brethren in 2 Corinthians 1:2: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Where else can you go to find peace?