The Bible tells us, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Colossians 3:15). As Christians, we are called to biblical peace. This peace doesn’t focus on the absence of trouble. It is unrelated to our circumstances; it is a goodness of life that is not touched by what happens on the outside. You may be in the midst of great trials and still have biblical peace. But finding daily peace isn’t easy. It is easily stolen. It only takes a simple glance at the world news or a mounting to-do list for uncertainty and restlessness to rise up and overwhelm our hearts with anxiety. Any look at the success and joys of those around you can lure your soul into a never-ending longing for the possessions, personality traits and positions in life that we don’t have. A quick encounter or exchange with a difficult person can quickly take your days of peace. It almost feels like we have to fight for our own peace daily. It is crucial now more than ever that we allow the peace of Christ to rule our hearts.
In the New Testament, peace refers to rest and tranquility. A key focus on peace in the New Testament is the advent of Jesus Christ, as announced by the angels in Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth among those with whom he is pleased!” Isaiah had also predicted that Jesus Christ would be the Prince of Peace, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). It is through Christ that we can have peace with God (Romans 5:1) and that peace will keep our hearts and minds secure (Philippians 4:7). Because God commands us to seek peace, we should make every effort to do what leads to peace.
In order to allow the peace of Christ to rule your heart, you must first focus. We live in a world that continually demands for our attention. We struggle to keep our thoughts in order and our task lists and projects completed. There’s no doubt that it’s hard to focus. But focus is crucial when it comes to our relationship with Christ. When we attempt to read Scripture, but lack focus, it’s easy to feel lost reading the Bible. You will wander around Scripture and may feel like you have no clue what you’re doing. You may even come to a point where you feel like you’re wasting your time because you’re not truly connecting with the words you’re reading. When we approach God’s Word, we must learn to focus on what we see and develop a trained eye to know its significance. This will not only help you engage with Scripture better, but also help you to truly know God better and experience Him in deeper ways.
In order to allow the peace of Christ to rule your heart, it’s important to recognize who the true source of peace is. 1 Thessalonians 3:16 says, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way.” God is referred to as “the God of peace” over and over again in Scripture. Fifteen of the biblical epistles (technical terms for letters written to the churches, such as Philippians, Galatians and Ephesians), give a greeting to their beloved church members, which include some version of the phrase “peace from God.” These, alongside verses on peace, make a strong case from the New Testament of where peace originates. Remember, our soul craves peace. Don’t buy into the notion that an afternoon of solitude or a weekend at the beach will give you peace. Peace is not a serene setting or even a peace of mind. Anything or anyone who promises you peace is not being authentic with you. True and lasting soul-level peace is found only in a Person: Jesus Christ, the Source of all peace.
Finally, it’s important to defend your peace every day. The Bible tells us, “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the Devil” (Ephesians 6:11). There are so many lies that we will encounter on a daily basis that will try and steal our peace. Ask the Spirit of God to bring you greater awareness of those lies that are not only infiltrating, but also devastating your life. Declare your need for His strength and power to expel the lies that steal from the peace-filled life you are given through Christ.
Remember, everyday peace is a gift from God and we must learn to defend it relentlessly. When we live on guard instead of on vacation, we are better able to ward off attacks from the Enemy by recognizing his schemes and continual attempts to divert us away from intimacy with Jesus. We are right in the middle of a great battle, with the Devil attacking your thoughts and challenging our emotions. Just as the Enemy did in the very first attack on Adam and Eve, he attempts to create doubt in your heart of who God is. We must be ready to fight off every lie raised against God’s character and His plan. Defend yourself with this verse, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). When you are clothed in Christ, you are stronger than any attack from the Enemy.
Instead of stress and discontentment, allow the peace of Christ to rule your heart. Through the presence of God, the strength of the Spirit and the example of Christ, our every moment can be soaked with the peace that passes all understanding.