This is the third “P” word in this series of articles. The Bible speaks of four different kinds of peace: peace with God, inner peace, peace in the midst of a troubled world, and peace with others.
Romans 5:1 says that Christians “have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is peace that a person has upon receiving God’s grace and forgiveness, and the knowledge that any shame or guilt from the past has been removed. It is being justified and declared righteous by God, because Jesus paid the penalty of our sin by his death on the cross.
When a person becomes a Christian, God’s Holy Spirit dwells within, and an inner peace is experienced that “surpasses all understanding” that will “guard your hearts and minds”(Philippians 4:7) from making poor or unwise decisions, or be present in times of deepest needs and sorrows. The opposite of peace is worry, so peace means to be free of anxiety about a decision or circumstance.
John 14:27 mentions the third type of peace. Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, not as the world gives…Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” In the midst of mass shootings, crime, rioting, and lawlessness, one does not have to live in fear. Isaiah 26:3 says, God “will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him.” Perfect peace is peace in times of all circumstances. It doesn’t waver, unless allowed to by worry or fear.
The fourth kind of peace is living in peace with other people. In Romans 12:18 we read that people, especially Christians whose hearts have been transformed by the indwelling Spirit of God, should “as far as it is possible, live peaceably with others.” Be proactive in maintaining peace in relationships at home and at work, in attitudes, words, and actions. Be a part of counteracting the hatred and divisiveness in our culture.
The more people who have an inner transformed character through God’s grace, and are doing all that is possible to live in peace with others, the more peace there will be in our world. Decide to become a peacemaker! However, it all starts by having the peace of God through a personal relationship with Jesus.