A Closer Look at Peace

“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79 NLT)

There are more than 100 references to peace in the New Testament and, like the term “love,” there are at least four distinct Greek words that are translated “peace.” In the above verse and in Galatians 5, where it refers to “peace” as one of the fruit of the Spirit, the term can be translated like we often think of peace, as the absence of conflict, whether in a national or personal sense.

But unlike the other terms, this word has reference to the Messiah’s peace, “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.” (Strong’s)

Peace, in this context, isn’t simply something we receive from God, it’s what we offer to others in His Name. Why is that so important? Jesus said in Matthew 5:23: “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.”

The point is, God doesn’t simply give us peace with Him, He engages us in the ministry of being agents of peace with and for others. Peace isn’t only an emotion or a sense of calmness and satisfaction, it’s a ministry and a mission we teach with our lives.

Some of the terms translated “peace” mean to keep quiet when the temptation is to speak. The picture one of the words paints is of a muzzle for an animal. If God’s Spirit is living in us, He will enable us to keep our tongue harnessed, thus preventing us from stirring up trouble and adding fuel to the proverbial fire.

James reminds us in chapter 3:6: “And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.” Some of the words interpreted “peace” mean “to hold your peace,” which can also be translated: “keep still or remain silent.”

In thinking about this whole subject of peace, the Lord reminded me of the many times I could have enjoyed a much greater level of happiness and peace in my marriage if I’d just kept my mouth shut. James writes in 1:19: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”

The presence of God’s Spirit produces fruit in our lives that we can’t produce in ourselves. That’s why it’s called the fruit OF THE SPIRIT! How many times have you heard or said: “I got so mad! I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.” We just need to give the Spirit permission to “muzzle” us before that happens.

When I was first in ministry an Elder called me and reamed me out for not doing something he’d asked me to do. By God’s grace, I remained silent. Finally, he asked me: “What do you have to say for yourself?” To which I replied, “Nothing. I’m wrong and I apologize. I’ll make it right.” We became good friends from that point forward.

Before we can be at peace with others, to God’s honor and glory, we have to be at peace with ourselves, allowing God’s Spirit to have complete rule and reign in our lives. Be patient with yourself. It takes time.

Blessings, Ed 😊

One thought on “A Closer Look at Peace

  1. Yes, James 1:19
    As I spoke with my daughter one day, this verse was a great opportunity to give application as to what I believed God wanted me to help her better understand. I told her, when we are quick to listen and slow to speak, in that choice to be silent, still, we allow the Holy Spirit a chance to speak and guide us, rather than our flesh.

    When I finished sharing this with my daughter, God’s Spirit impressed upon me that what I shared with her was meant for me as much as to share with her. I continue, at times, to wrestle through submitting and being silent and still so that He can be at the forefront, not me.

    Thanks for the great share and reminder of God’s continuing patience, grace and love towards “peace”, His, in and through me.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: