Everyone wants peace. What does the Bible say about having peace? What is the difference between what the world calls peace and what God calls peace?
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
This is not like the peace that the world gives. This is peace that Jesus Himself leaves us. What is Jesus talking about when He says “I leave you peace?” Paul tells us that we have peace if we have repented and put our trust in God; “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1). We were once enemies of God but through Jesus’ atoning work at Calvary, the hostility between us and God is placed on Jesus so it won’t have to be placed on us but only because “Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6b) and we have been freed “from the wrath of God” (Rom 5:9c). Because of Jesus “we have now received reconciliation” (Rom 5:11b). That’s why it’s called the good news.
John 20:18 “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
After Jesus’ death at Calvary, the disciples were likely thinking that they might be next and perhaps this is why Jesus told them after His resurrection “Peace be with you.” This peace is peace of mind because they may have finally understood that even death could not separate them from God. When the Roman church which was undergoing severe persecution Paul wrote “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39). Even death couldn’t separate a Christ-follower from God. Every believer has access to this peace of mind if they would only realize it.
Roman 8:6 “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
The wicked have no rest (Isaiah 57:20) for “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked” (Isaiah 48:22). The Christian can lay their head on their pillow at night knowing that they are at peace with God but the unsaved don’t have this peace of mind.
Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
The Greek word used for “rule” is like that of an umpire. Whatever the umpire says will stand. Their word is the final authority and no one can contest it. Likewise, we are commanded to let this peace rule or have authority in our hearts because no matter what the call looks like at home plate, if the umpire says they are safe, that’s it. No one can contest it.
Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
Because Jesus’ was crushed, we won’t be. The wounds we deserved were inflicted upon Him. The blows we earned were paid for by Jesus. This chastisement that brought us peace should have rightly belonged to us but because of His great love for us, we have the righteousness of Christ imputed toward us (2 Cor 5:21).
Second Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
No one can give themselves the peace of God. Like His grace, it is a free gift of God. The Lord Himself can give us this unique peace “in all times in every way.” What a sweeping statement that is. Read that again; “may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.” What a great and precious promise this is.
Check out this article for more Bible verses about Peace:
Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
The peace that God gives is conditional if you hope to have it remain in your mind. What is the condition? It is for those “whose mind is stayed on” God because they trust Him. The word used for “stay” has great meaning for the Christian. The Hebrew word means to remain in one place like a wooden peg driven into a tent to keep it in place. It is fixed and cannot be easily moved. This brings “perfect” or complete peace. It doesn’t mean that it’s perfect as much as it means complete. That is like Jesus’ words on the cross “It is finished” or “It is paid in full” so stay your mind on that!
Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”
The peace that a person receives from obedience is unlike anything in the human experience. This is not just peace but “great peace” because of the great price paid by Jesus (John 3:16). We might trip and fall but we will fall forward and if we love the law of God then we won’t stumble. We also won’t be an occasion for others to stumble.
Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Sheep are about the most cowardice animals there are. They can literally have a heart attack if they are frightened too much but if you are among the flock of the Great Shepherd, then you can lay down in green pastures (Psalm 23) and sleep in peace for God never slumbers and never sleeps (Psalm 121:4). He is watching over His own and knows which sheep are His (John 10:3-4).
John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
I started with Jesus speaking about peace and I will conclude with these inspiring words by the Savior. The disciples were troubled because Jesus said that He was about to leave this world and they feared because of the unknown. The only peace that satisfies, that which makes us have peace of mind and allows us to rest in Him, is that which Jesus gives. It is not the peace that we ourselves try to work up in our minds. That peace is not permanent and is like a vapor. It can easily come but just as easily go. Jesus knew that they would go through tribulations but He wanted them to “take heart” because he had “overcome the world.”
You may have different or better Bible verses about peace than I have written about but the essential fact is if you have settled the hostility between you and God…the hostility that our sins had separated us from a holy God…then you can have peace of mind. Your mind can be stayed on the fact that the removal God’s wrath is completed in Christ. It’s an often overlooked fact that Jesus suffered and died for the ungodly but the Father also suffered. What father would not be in agony to see their only son die an agonizing death for which He didn’t deserve? You can have the peace of God if you repent and turn from your sins, if you humble yourself and see what your sin did to Christ, then confess them to God and place your trust in the One Who took your punishment. He is your Master of whom you obey; either Jesus Christ or the Devil. He is either your Savior now or your Judge after death. It is your choice. I pray you make the right choice today if you haven’t done so already for no one is guaranteed what tomorrow.
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Article by Pastor Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design