by Gerry Fry
The one thing that every human being longs for is peace.
As we celebrated Christmas last month, we heard the angels announcing to the shepherds, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests" (Luke 2:14 NIV). The peace that everyone desires is what our Lord Jesus came to provide. And that is one thing that Satan and sin has stolen from the human family. The enemy's strategy is to rob you of the gift of Christ's peace in your life, your marriage, your family and in this world.
But what is peace?
It is more than just the absence of conflict and trouble. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom, which means "total well-being." It is everything that makes for our highest and best good and that brings wholeness and prosperity. The Greek word for peace is eirene, and it carries all the meaning of shalom, as well as the connotation of harmony, tranquility and serenity. This peace encompasses a completeness and a right relationship with God and with one another — and that only comes through Jesus Christ.
The moment we believe and receive the Lord Jesus, we have “peace with God” (Rom. 5:1). And as believers we are now called — and enabled — to continually walk and live in this peace. The word “peace” together with the word “grace” form one of the most common Christian greetings found in the New Testament. The majority of the epistles begin with “grace and peace.” The result of faith in the grace of God is this perfect peace.
Our old fleshly nature, the world system we live in and the presence of demonic power in this life seek to rob us of this peace. Pride, wrong attitudes, disobedience, unbelief, fear and anxiety can effectively distract us from walking in His peace — a peace that Paul says “will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). The Greek word for “guard” is actually a military term that carries with it the picture of a sentry standing guard as protection. Again the Bible says in Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” The term “rule” used here specifically means “to umpire or govern.” God has given us this incredible gift that the enemy simply cannot duplicate. So when you have a “dispeace” about something, make sure to stop and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the reason.
This peace is a firstfruit of a life walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). It is a manifestation of Christ’s character and life. We can celebrate the truth that we live in His kingdom of peace (Rom. 14:17). In this kingdom, the God of peace sanctifies you completely so “that your whole spirit, soul and body (will) be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thess. 5:23). Sanctification is that work of His grace that sets you free from past bondages and failures so that you can walk in the brightness of a new day filled with peace.
Let’s take joy in the truth that the God of peace is going to complete and equip us with every good thing to do His will. Friends, God is at work in our lives! So rejoice and be filled with thanksgiving that by His grace He will provide everything we need to carry out His will. Remember that the “God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom. 16:20).