In the Venn diagram of Real Peace, where “Jesus” and “Anything Else Peace-Bringing” overlap, holistic faith-ers should land squarely in the shaded center, indicating we’ve got real peace down.
Like so much so that a panel asks us to demonstrate Color Visualization meditation to determine the color most befitting this obviously, mega-important diagram! (Spoiler: It’s blue!)
Because if you cross the goal of including Jesus in every aspect of life with contemplation and meditation, dispelling worry should be a given.
But here’s what I know about us holistic faith-ers. In our desire to take on life and faith holistically, we can take on burdens our shoulders weren’t meant to carry. And as crazy as it sounds, peace can be one of those heavy weights we’re meant to give over to the unfailing hands of God.
worldly peace vs. divine peace
“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.” John 14:27 (NIV)
Divine peace is meant to hold steady. It remains unchanged by circumstance.
But how often after tumbling a jagged-edged problem around in our rock tumbler of a heart do we say “I have peace over it.”? And it’s true. After enough time and contemplation, we’ve smoothed the sharp edges enough that we can carry it with us without as many painful, sharp reminders of its existence. That polished stone can even give us bragging rights of what we’ve come through and how much we learned. Even as we remain under its weight, we feel lighter and at real peace because we’ve come to terms with the issue.
This isn’t bad. But it isn’t best either. Can we really believe that learning to tolerate pain and endure its weight is what Jesus meant when he described the gift he was leaving us?
It can’t be. This is just how we’ve learned to achieve peace. Peace as the world gives.
bible verses about peace and strength
These Bible verses about peace and strength should help us differentiate between worldly peace and divine peace. If so, we’ll gain a deeper understanding of the gift Jesus describes in John 14:27.
scriptures, inner peace
Never retaliate when someone treats you wrongly, nor insult those who insult you, but instead, respond by speaking a blessing over them—because a blessing is what God promised to give you.
For the Scriptures tell us:
Whoever wants to embrace true life and find beauty in each day
must stop speaking evil, hurtful words and never deceive in what they say.
Always turn from what is wrong and cultivate what is good;
eagerly pursue peace in every relationship, making it your prize.
1 Peter 3:9-11 (TPT)
Though this certainly applies to peace with others, we see that following this wisdom also leads to inner peace. By seeking sacred in the everyday and treating others the way God does, we can achieve the divine version rather than the DIY peace of the world.
Another way this passage applies to inner peace is that we are to avoid deceitful speech. This means even to oneself. I like remembering this verse when I speak truth to myself in daily affirmations.
Lord, you establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished you have done for us. Isaiah 26:12 (NIV)
Rest and gratitude are definite catalysts for peace. Recognizing that real peace is established by God on our behalf, puts our DIY efforts on hold.
being at peace with God
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
The Passion Translation (TPT) notes the strength of divine peace as, “peace that subdues”. This same level of calm is indicated in Mark 4:39 (ESV), where Jesus tells the wind and waves, “Peace! Be still!”. This peace that subdues is the same peace God offers us!
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. 1 Peter 5:7 (MSG)
Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (TPT)
Each of these translations is powerful in its own right. Because God cares for you, you can put your anxiety on him. Surrender yourself to him and be carefree, knowing though he is not worried, he is full of care. And once you’ve surrendered your worry, leave it there. Don’t pick it back up!
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
Though beyond understanding, real peace leads to holistic transformation and protects us from fear and worry.
Lovers of your law have much peace;
for them there is no stumbling block. Psalm 119:165 (NABRE)
When our hearts are prepared with God’s words, there is nothing that falls outside of or is too big for the covering of real peace.
“Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)
Even in unimaginable circumstances we can cling to God’s unfailing love for us and the peace that bonds us to him.
finding peace with others
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 (NIV)
This reminder that we are called to be one could is encouraging, but for some a bit convicting. We are called to live peaceably with others.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 (NIV)
Just in case that first verse leaves any doubt over who we’re supposed to be living with at peace, it’s EVERYONE. As much as it falls in our responsibility, we are to live at peace.
Resist revenge, and make sure that no one pays back evil in place of evil but always pursue doing what is beautiful to one another and to all the unbelievers. 1 Thessalonians 5:15 (TPT)
Pursue doing what is beautiful. To one another, including those that believe differently than you.
But the wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and teachable. It is filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any form and it always bears the beautiful harvest of righteousness! Good seeds of wisdom’s fruit will be planted with peaceful acts by those who cherish making peace. James 3:17-18 (TPT)
There are times we’re called to uproot false belief and seek justice for those without a voice, and it may require a lot of passion and fire. Even then at the root of the changes we desire, seeking peace with others is considered a wise and protective measure for ourselves.
Rachael Denhollander’s court room words against her abuser, Larry Nassar, is the best example I can offer of this in modern times.
Taking time to sit with an issue and come to terms with it isn’t a bad thing! But when compared, the process of tolerating and enduring an issue versus surrendering it as we stand firm on an established foundation of peace, the later wins every time. Both are valid! But only the gifted kind begets more peace, a true grace upon grace (John 1:16).
“And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!” John 16:33 (TPT) [emphasis mine]
Did you catch that? The peace that is in the One whom all life was created and sanctified will be in YOU. The peace that is in the One who is the beginning and the end, the One whom all details lie, the One in whom we live and move and find our being is in YOU.
I can barely fathom it, honestly.
At that epic level, there is no worry or doubt, only confidence. Even as I let every cell breathe in this holy truth, I doubt its possibility for any human. I don’t doubt God, I just cannot comprehend a peace of this magnitude. It truly is beyond understanding. Still, knowing a shared peace with Christ is God’s intention for us settles my soul. I can surrender and shuck off the weight of achieving gold-star earth mama peace. I can see that’s not my weight to carry. It is simply my inheritance.
As a review, here are the key points these verses lay out for us in our pilgrimage to real peace.
- Don’t retaliate. Instead, respond with blessing.
- Cast your worries on God and leave them there.
- Don’t compare yourself with others. Be carefree in God’s care for you!
- Love God’s Word.
- Rest in God.
- Be strong and courageous.
If we do not experience this level of lasting, perfected real peace here in our human form, we can count on it fully once we’re home! Until then, focus on the beauty and reconciliation work and lift one another up!