“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints.” – 1 Corinthians 14:33.
In the movie Captain Phillips, we first see the Captain and then the U.S. Navy trying to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Somali hijackers. We are accustomed to reading of politicians and diplomats working hard to resolve conflicts and bring about peace. But what happens after the peace treaty or agreement is signed. Even after the treaty is signed, suspicious countries/parties wonder if the other party will live up to its agreement, or is it just waiting until the time is right to violate that treaty. History gives us many examples that proves peace is as elusive as it is desired.
In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
There are several types of peace. One is when we are riding the crest of a wave and everything is going our way. But the peace Jesus gives us is a totally different quality of peace. It is a peace that passes all our understanding. “…do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) It is peace even when a group of Somali pirates is ready to board your boat or when a pirate points a AK-47 at you.
You are probably thinking the following: “C’mon Marty, who wouldn’t be freaking out in that situation. You couldn’t help yourself.” You are right. Most of us would be sweating bullets and calling on God in every breath. While you are probably not going to face the situation that Captain Phillips did, there will be times when we seek peace and it is just not there.
It is easy to blame others or our circumstances whether it be our parents, our education, our personality, our friends, our background, etc. But we can’t let a lack of peace impact our present and our future. We need to learn how to live with the peace Jesus gives.
Our enemy, the devil, is persistent and will do whatever he can to wear us out and keep us from having the peace of God. The reality is that we will have trials in our lives. We should plan ahead to stay peaceful during trials. Everything is not going to go our way all the time, and when it doesn’t, we can be prepared to stay in peace in the midst of it all. The ability to maintain that peace in troubled times can be one of our greatest testimonies to a troubled world.
If we want God’s peace we need to learn to bring all our requests to Him. Paul tells us (Philippians 4:6) to be anxious for nothing. To not let anything stress us. God’s peace is actually God’s remedy for stress. Paul indicates it is possible to live a life completely free of stress. He said be anxious for nothing. How can that be possible?
A promise is attached to this action. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. If we choose to bring all things to God and do it with thanksgiving we have the promise that God’s peace, which passes all understanding, will guard our emotions and keep us in peace.
Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 13:20, that God is the God of peace. “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant.” God is the source of peace, maker of peace, and the one who gives peace. There is no true and lasting peace outside of him.
- How do you describe God’s peace?
- How do you personally respond to this challenge, “Be anxious for nothing.” Do you think that includes very difficult times?
- Do you believe God’s peace can really be obtained?
- How has God brought you peace and joy when you’ve been worried?
- Pray and ask God to give you His peace.