“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...” —Colossians 3:15
Peace is not the absence of conflict. Rather, peace is something to experience in the midst of conflict. 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” (John 14:27). How can our hearts not be troubled or afraid during trials? Because we have the inner peace of God experienced in the midst of an outer world of conflict, tension and trouble.
Paul tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). As we present the situations of life to God day by day, moment by moment, the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds.
There was a painting competition in Britain several years ago. The subject to be painted was “Peace” and there were two prizewinners. The first artist went to the Lake District in the northwest part of England and painted a beautiful picture of a lake in the foreground with a beautiful mountain range in the background. It was a beautiful picture that would make anyone feel warm. The artist called the painting “Peace” and he won second prize.
The second artist went down to the Cornish Peninsula in the southwest part of England that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. The artist painted a cliff across the picture that came down into the Atlantic. There was a mighty storm taking place in the background and we could tell with the waters churning up with huge waves rolling in and beating against the base of the cliff. The sky was thick and black, the rain was beating down hard and there was a lightning bolt on the top left corner. We may look at this picture and think to ourselves, “I’m glad I’m not out there.” The picture would make anyone feel cold and damp, but in the midst of this scene, about two thirds of the way up the cliff, there is a cleft in the rock with a nest and a gull with its eyes closed. The artist called this painting “Peace” and he won first prize.
What is the “peace of God?” The peace of God is not the peace of the tranquil Lake District scene. But the peace of God that transcends all understanding is knowing, even in the midst of the storm, we have security and rest in God.
Dear God, even in the midst of the storms of life, I have security and rest in You. Thank You for this peace, which transcends all understanding, that comes only from You. Praise You!