Finding peace in a troubled world seems impossible and even silly. It’s too much to ask for, isn’t it? I know what you are thinking, “How can I find peace when the world is crumbling down right in front of me, next to me, and besides me” You are right, the world does seem to be crumbling down through every angle that we look. There are tragedies, illnesses, viruses, suicides, mass deaths, divorces, shootings, and other horrific situations happening all around us. The entire world is suffering and hurting. However, in the midst of all of the pain surrounding us (and affecting us, directly or indirectly), there is still HOPE and one true way we can still find peace. So, if you’re ready to discover the only way to peace during difficult times, keep reading.
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What is Peace?
By definition, peace is a state of tranquility, rest, calmness, and stillness. In other words, peace is the complete opposite of trouble, anguish, conflict and noise.
Human Concept of Peace
As humans, our understanding is limited. We have the illusion that having peace is the equivalent of not having problems, having everything we want, being perfectly healthy, and not having enemies. Basically, we understand peace as living a perfect life. Our peace is dependent on circumstances. If things are going well, we “have peace”. However, when things are not going well, we automatically lose our peace. Which is why, we typically find ourselves without peace during difficult times.
God’s Concept of Peace
However, unlike us, God does not view peace as the result of a circumstance. God teaches us that true peace does not depend on the circumstances we are in. True peace has nothing to do with what we face, but everything to do with how we feel. We don’t feel peace because our life is perfect, we feel peace because we have the source of peace in us and with us, during every circumstance and occasion.
Peace in the Bible
Peace in the Bible
Peace is found approximately 500 times in the Bible. As you can see, peace is an important and recurring theme in the Bible. Peace is not just another word, it is a powerful PROMISE. Evidently, God created a perfect world where he intended for everyone to have peace. However, we distanced ourselves from God’s peace by sinning and leaving him to follow our desires. Ecclesiastes 7:29 says, “God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.
Fruit of the Spirit – Peace
Peace is not only a promise in the Bible, but interestingly enough, peace is also a fruit of the Spirit. For those who don’t know, there are 9 fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and peace. Peace is a fruit that God wants us to have.
“Shalom” – A Salutation of Peace
The Hebrew word “Shalom” which is translated to “peace to you” is a common salutation used by the Israelites, since Biblical times. Shalom is used as a greeting and farewell. Every time Israelites salute one another, they are blessing each other with peace. Which shows that even a simple salutation has been centered around peace.
The Peace of God
God has promised us peace that goes beyond all understanding. Philippians (4)7 says, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Having peace in the midst of difficulties, adversities, storms, and even illnesses – that is the Peace of God. A peace that does not depend on circumstances, but on the creator of it, God. The peace of God is hard to understand and grasp in our human nature because it simply surpasses our understanding.
In Philippians 4:7, God makes three key points.
- The peace of God surpasses all understanding – it’s hard to understand
- God’s peace guards our hearts and minds – we have peace in both our hearts & in our minds.
The peace of God is Jesus – only in Jesus we can find peace
The Prince of Peace
It’s not a mere coincidence that Jesus is referred to as the “Prince of peace” throughout the Bible. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the source of peace, and the only way to peace. The only way the world is able to find true & infinite peace is through Jesus.
In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Temporary Peace vs Everlasting Peace
The peace the world offers is temporary, limited and finite. Like I mentioned earlier, the peace the world offers is dependent only on our circumstances. Let’s take money as an example. Money brings you some kind of financial peace and stability, correct? You may feel peace when using your money for pleasures and desires. However, money loses it’s value when you are caught in a situation (illness, tragedy, loss of a loved one, etc) where money can no longer provide you with a solution, worst peace.
When we depend on the peace that the world offers, the moment we lose, we suffer, or we fail, our peace is gone. However, God has given us everlasting peace through the Prince of Peace, Jesus. Jesus does not depend on our circumstances. He is above our circumstances. Which is why, we can find peace in him, even in the midst of storms. Jesus is the true peace that surpasses all understanding.
Biblical Example of Peace
One of the best examples I can find in the Bible of a human receiving peace from God during difficult times is Gideon. Gideon may not be a very popular character like David or Moses, but his story leaves us a huge lesson.
In the times of Gideon, the Israelites were being oppressed by the Midianites. Take a moment to read the passage below to understand what was going on.
Judges (6) 2-6
- 2. And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.
- 3. For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them.
- 4. They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey.
- 6. And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord.
After the people cried to God for help, he chose and called a man named Gideon to be the one to liberate the Israelites from the Midianites and also lead them to victory.
But, who was Gideon BEFORE God’s calling?
- A member of an unimportant and poor family
- Belonged to the weakest tribe of Israel.
- Ranked the least in his fathers house.
- A man weak in faith – not only did he question God, but he needed God to show him 3 signs in order for him to believe, trust and obey him.
When God called Gideon, Gideon did not automatically accept his calling or mission. He expressed his weaknesses, his fear, and his doubt to God. Pretty relatable, huh? Gideon did not pretend to be strong – he expressed fear and worry. How could a weak man with so little faith defeat an army of powerful Midianites? What was God thinking?
God’s promise to Gideon
After all of Gideon’s questions, requests of signs and doubts, God made a powerful promise to him: “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.”
- God gave him PEACE
- God removed his fear
- God promised him LIFE
Although Gideon seemed to be the most unfit character to lead Israel to victory against such a strong army of enemies, God chose to turn Gideon into a leader. God chose the weakest vessel to showcase his mighty power. He trusted Gideon with a mission of this magnitude, because he knew that it wasn’t Gideon who was going to fight in the war, it was God who was going to give the Israelites victory through Gideon. And Gideon, although he was weak in faith, chose to believe God’s promise.
As a result, Gideon was able to find peace during this difficult time, find strength to go to battle to defeat his enemies, bring Israel a victory, and lastly build an altar to the Lord and called it, “The Lord is Peace!” At the end, Gideon was able to firmly state and recognize that GOD is peace. After all, he had good reason to believe so!
Gideon after God’s calling
- A successful military leader who saved the Israelites from the Midianites.
- A prophet and a judge in Israel.
- Recognized as a hero of faith in Hebrews 11 along with other faith heroes.
Peace through Jesus
In conclusion, there is no peace apart from God. The only way we can truly find peace is through Jesus. The example of Gideon teaches us that we don’t need to be mighty strong, have it all figured out, or even have all the faith in the world to defeat our enemies (enemy of anxiety, fear, illness, addiction, coronavirus, etc), we just have to believe in Jesus. We can’t possibly defeat our enemies on our own, but Jesus can.
So what can we do to find peace?
- Run to the source of Peace: Jesus
- Believe in the Prince of Peace: Jesus
- Trust in the only Way to Peace: Jesus
Accept God’s Peace.
There is nothing more precious than having the peace of God in your heart. From the bottom of my heart, I hope everyone reading this can also experience this everlasting and unexplainable peace that surpasses all understanding.
Until next time,