What does the Bible say about peace?
In Colossians 3:15 (NKJV), it says to “let the peace of God rule” in our hearts. But what does this mean? How does one go about keeping the peace of God in one’s heart, let alone let it rule?
The best way to understand what the Bible has to say about peace is to turn there.
Jesus says to his disciples, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33 MSG). He knew that those closest to Him were about to betray Him; He also knew that they would have the opportunity to look back to His words and His actions. One day they would be on the other side of Jesus’ resurrection and it would all begin to make sense. When that day came, they would be unshakable and deeply at peace. Life would not get easier, but they would have a peace that would get them through anything.
You and I have the advantage of being on this side of the resurrection. The disciples abandoned Jesus not knowing what was happening. Once Jesus’ words were proven true and given context, the very same who left him to face the cross alone would never abandon Him again, no matter what life threw at them. You and I have the advantage of seeing the story in its entirety. We read the words leading up to the crucifixion and we know the ending. That truth is what we hold in our heart to let the peace of God rule.
The Bible has a lot to say about peace. The Message translation uses the word “peace” 224 times. In the New Testament, Jesus’ birth is proclaimed by angels singing “peace to all men and women” (Luke 2:13-14 MSG). After Jesus heals the sick and broken, He tells them to “go in peace” (Luke 7:50 MSG), and Paul starts (Galatians 1:1-5 MSG) and signs off (2 Corinthians 13:11-13 MSG) his letters with the peace of God. Jesus entered the world when Jews were being oppressed by Romans, and yet peace is announced in His arrival, in His departure and in the life of the first-century Christians. In the middle of persecution and oppression, the Bible says that there is peace.
Keeping the peace does not mean turning a blind eye
At no point during Jesus’ ministry did He sacrifice speaking up for the oppressed, the widow, the sick or the hurting in order to mediate a peaceful atmosphere. That is not what keeping the peace means.
Peace is something that is found in our heart. It is difficult and can bring additional pain, but God calls us to stand apart and find the truth of forgiveness and peace that only He can bring. Eva Kor is an example of the extremeness to which we are called to. She forgave Josef Mengele, the Nazi who tried to murder her and her twin sister.
Finding that peace is difficult, but it is possible. It does not mean you forsake all boundaries. What it does mean is that you rely on God to do the impossible — because, well, He already did.
Tune in to the Unfiltered Radio podcast. Discover what it means to authentically follow Jesus and what unconditional love and God’s peace looks like.