What Is Peace?

The Peace God Provides

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

God was the first one to use the word peace in the Bible. “You, however,” He told Abram, “will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age” (Genesis 15:13). We would say, “R.I.P.—rest in peace.”

Another way to describe peace might be the absence of war. But World War I, the “War to End All Wars,” wasn’t that at all, and there seem to be more wars than ever today. When you think about “peace of mind,” you may envision an idyllic island or a beach somewhere.

The word used in Romans 15:13 is eirēnē, which can mean “a state of national tranquility; peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord; security, safety, prosperity, felicity; the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and the blessed state of devout and upright men after death.”*

Peace in all its categories is humanly impossible to sustain. We may not want war, but we are surrounded by it. Security and safety are fleeting. We may celebrate what looks like a successful peace treaty, but history shows that governments can’t maintain peace for very long.

On a personal level, neighbors, family members, or coworkers may not want to harmonize with us. We may take a vacation, but an island or beach soon starts crawling with people who want to get away from it all too.

What of those who’ve received salvation through Christ? Must we wait for death to be tranquil and assured? Or, can we experience peace no matter what’s happening around us?

The Romans passage mentions two sources of peace: God and the Holy Spirit. When we trust God, He fills us with peace, hope, and joy. Circumstances may not change, but we change. God has not only revealed Himself in the Bible as good, but He has revealed that there’s more to this life than we see around us and more good things to come (Romans 8:18).

When are born again, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to fill us with peace, a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). When circumstances threaten your ability to remain calm and confident, trust the peace God put within you by the power of the Holy Spirit.

DIG DEEPER:

What enabled David to experience a peaceful sleep in Psalm 4:3-8?

Read Romans 12:16-21. What are the ingredients in Paul’s recipe for peace and harmony with others?

What does James 4:1-12 offer as the cause of fights and quarrels? What is the solution?

See also Peace and Thanksgiving, our devotion on Philippians 4:1-9.

 Nancy J. Baker

* “Greek Lexicon :: G1515 (KJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 5 Jan, 2016. http://www.blueletterbible.orghttps://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm

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