In the book, War and Peace, there is a scene in which a young man is sent to war and finds himself in his first battle. Up to this point, because of his position in life, he had been forced to do work as a politician and a businessman, but in everything he did he felt anxious and depressed. However, when he entered the battleground and the bullets began flying around his head, he somehow felt peace. He knew he was where he was supposed to be and living the life he was meant to live.
We were all created to be Children of God living our best lives in His presence.
Psalm 139:14 says, “I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well”
Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus
Yet, so many us lack peace. We are anxious, depressed, and shaken because we do not know who we are or where we belong.
Scripture shows us why we feel broken and lack personal peace.
Genesis starts with the story of the first man and woman and how God created them to be perfect and at peace. We know that they were at peace because they were naked and did not feel shame (Genesis 2:25). They had nothing to hide.
Because of their peace, they were unified as a couple - the two became one (Gen. 2:24). They were connected and whole because they were living right in the presence of the God who created them.
However, in the next chapter of their lives, we see Adam push his wife away. After they had eaten the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6), this perfect peace was lost. They felt shame (Gen. 3:7) and when Adam was faced with the consequences of his mistake, he blamed both the woman for giving him the fruit and God for giving him the woman (Gen. 3:12).
Peace was shattered.
Mankind is now fighting against God, each other, and even himself, to try and regain that peace. Anxiety, shame, regret, depression, hate, and other negative emotions now fill our brains and keep us from remembering who we truly - children of God.
Ephesians 2:3 - Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging in the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest.
Notice that we were “Children of Wrath” - meaning that our very nature caused God anger. We were made in HIs image, but because of the darkness of sin, we no longer reflected God’s glory. This meant that if God came near us, His holiness (light) would destroy our unholiness (darkness). We are separated from God because of our Sinful nature - and this makes Him angry.
Ephesians 2:4 - But God, being rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).
Jesus became that bridge between God and man - to transform our darkness into light so that we could again be near God, become again the person we were created to be, and remove God’s anger - thereby creating peace.
Isaiah 9:6 tells us that one of Christ’s titles will be the prince of peace: “For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
When Jesus was born, peace was declared for the world: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:14)
Before he died on the cross, Jesus promised that the peace would remain for those that follow Him: “Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.” (John 14:27)
Scripture teaches that our Human (sinful) nature is at odds with our Spiritual nature (Romans 7:21-25). Jesus bridges these two natures and brings them into alignment with God’s nature - again, this brings peace.
Ephesians 2:14 - For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in his flesh the hostility, which is the Law composed of commandments expressed in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two one new person, in this way establishing peace.
But some choose to hold onto their darkness.
Knowing that the world had become incredibly broken and the people would be afraid to release the chains that they had become accustomed to, Jesus gave a warning to those that are trying to share peace. He said: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34).
What he was telling us was that although He was bringing TRUE peace, many people will become upset that they have to release their chains that they will fight back. God’s TRUE PEACE will create division between those that have chosen Christ’s path and those that are afraid to step into the light.
it is not easy to lead people to peace because, as with Adam in the garden, it exposes all things we have been hiding and shows our nakedness (Gen. 3:10-11). But, as with Adam, God cannot cover us with His eternal garments (Gen. 3:21) until we remove the temporary leaves (Gen. 3:7) we have tried to hide behind.
So, that begs the question - if we will face opposition when we try to share the peace of God with those that are hiding in the darkness - why should we try? Why not just let them remain in the darkness if that is what they want?
There are several reasons we need to share peace with as many people as we can.
First - Because Jesus commanded it. Matthew 28:19-20 says: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Second - Because there are people you care about that are hurting. You have experienced the pain of a life without peace - and you see others drowning in their own anxiety. You know the way to peace, it would be cruel not to share what you have found. Jude 1:21-23 says: “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.”
Third - This lack of peace does not just make life hard for those without peace, but it leads to death. By sharing your peace with others you may be saving their enteral soul. Romans 6:23 says: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
Fourth - Because peace leads to peace. As you lead others to peace, it releases the tension and increases the peace you yourself will feel. Jesus said in Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
How do your share your peace?
First, ask God to give peace to those you love. It is important to remember that the peace you have is not YOUR peace - it is GOD’s peace. There are attributes that we as people take for granted, that are gifts from God and that can be taken back at any time. Paul called these attributes the “Fruits of the Spirit”. They are: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23)
Start by praying that God will put His peace in the heart of the other person.
Then, share the peace you have found with them. Like a candle, light their life with the flame you possess. It will not diminish your world, but it will light up their’s.
Share your life and set the example that helps them walk out of the darkness and into the light of God’s love - even when they feel awkward and exposed. Be there for them.
James said: “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:18)
By doing this, you have begun the process of Discipleship.