John 14:21, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Every one of us desires peace. We want peace in our mind. We want peace in our marriage. We want peace in our circumstances. We want peace in our home. “Peace at any cost,” we cry out. But what kind of peace are we looking for? Is it God’s idea of peace or ours?
“I feel God’s peace in my heart,” says a wife who is leaving her husband. Perhaps her marriage has been a battlefield of wills and constant stress. What relief to get out of the situation! But is this God’s peace? No, the good feeling is a relief from the battle.
“I feel such peace now,” exclaims a mother who has just had a tubal ligation. Is this really the peace of God? No, it is relief! Great relief! This mother no longer has to put up with the pressure of family and friends to stop having children. Stress between her and her husband is alleviated. She no longer has to worry about having any more babies. No more sleepless nights. No more bother! Relief – yes, but it is a false sense of peace. The true peace of God does not counteract His commandments or His basic design for our lives. We cannot have God’s peace when we willingly interfere with the way that He divinely created us. It is playing God.
“We feel peace about our decision,” a couple acknowledge as they leave their church. Maybe their church has been going through difficulties and strife. The easiest way out is to leave! This seems to be normal behavior today. If there are problems in the marriage, walk out. If things aren’t going “my way” in the church, walk out! And then they feel a sense of relief that can be interpreted as peace.
But God’s peace, the peace that passes all understanding, is not relief from stress. It is not walking out on the battle. It is not taking the easy way out. It is finding God’s grace and rest in your circumstances. When our daughter, Evangeline, was hemorrhaging inwardly for many weeks and pregnant with her seventh baby (it was the biggest hemorrhage the ultra sound guy had ever seen), when her life and her baby’s life were at stake, she lived in a state of absolute peace. I have to confess that we were in a state of concern but her confidence was in God who is the God of peace. Later God miraculously healed her, but she lived in peace and rest even when she did not have her healing.
It is not necessarily God’s peace just because we have a good feeling. We experience God’s peace when we walk according to God’s divine laws and His commandments. Isaiah 48:18 says, “Oh that you had hearkened to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river.” If what we are doing does not line up with God’s Word, it is a false sense of peace. I love the words in Psalm 85:10, “Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
It is very easy to bring God down to our level of thinking. We are prone to walk humanistically and this is where we can be deceived by a false peace. God speaks to us in Psalm 50:21 and says, “You thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.” God is not like us. He is God. We cannot bring Him down to our level. We can’t make Him fit into our circumstances. We have to live on His terms.
May God help each one of us, including me, to discern what is true peace.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Oh God, the God of truth and peace, please help me to discern your peace in my life. Save me from falling into false peace because of getting my own way. Help me to discern between relief and peace. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”
I will balance my peace alongside God’s commandments.