By Michael Risley
In a world screaming in pain, from COVID-19 to riots in the cities to social distancing from loved ones, the one thing we all long for is peace. But only as Jesus Christ possesses our lives can we know true peace. C. S. Lewis wrote, “God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
So what are the specifics to knowing peace with God?
We were created to live in peace with God. However, sin destroyed that peace and still destroys it for everyone who refuses Jesus’ offer of salvation. God’s peace rests upon those who receive Jesus Christ by faith (John 1:12). God’s Word says, “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Peace with God means that the debt of our sin has been paid and God sees us as righteous (Colossians 2:14; Romans 3:22). We are no longer enemies of God but His beloved children (1 John 3:2).
Besides having peace with God, God desires His children to experience the peace of God. This is the inner peace of wholeness of mind and a spirit that is at rest in God (Romans 8:6). Instead of being torn apart by anxiety and fears, the Christian expresses and enjoys his faith and love for God through obedience to His Word.
Philippians 4:6–7 is a key passage in experiencing peace God’s way. It says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Today I encourage you to practice the four main points of this Scripture:
1) Don’t worry about anything,
2) Pray about everything,
3) Thank God for all He has done,
4) Then you will experience God’s peace.
When I was a teenager, my mom gave me a wooden plaque that had Isaiah 26:3 written on it. I have that plaque in my office today. It says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” The Message translates this verse, “People with their minds set on You, You keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit. Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.”