“Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:14, AV)
In this frantic world in which we live, we long for peace. We have recently seen war in Eastern Europe, in the Ukraine. With this particular war, we have seen the destruction of property, a tremendous loss of life, atrocities committed against innocent civilians, millions of people leaving and losing everything they have in fear for their lives. We need peace in our world.
Peter wrote to people who were undergoing severe persecution. In the midst of this persecution, he concluded this letter with the expression “Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus.” You might ask, “How are these to have peace in the trials that they were experiencing.” Was the tribulation going to cease all of a sudden? This is not the kind of peace of which Peter wrote.
There is an aspect of peace that we need to truly understand. It is available to all, even in the midst of very difficult circumstances. It is the peace of mind and heart. I’ll be honest, sometimes I struggle with anxiety. Anxiety is an issue of the heart where we become internally tense and bothered by situations around us.
The solution to this anxiety is the peace of God. The word translated as “peace” is eirene¸ which refers to coming to a state of calm, rest, and tranquility. It is that which takes away our worries, reduces our blood-pressure, calms our pulse-rate, and generally causes us to rest easy. This is the peace that God wants us to experience in Christ.
Remember Jesus’ words, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, AV). The very first step in experiencing this peace is to come to Jesus by faith. He is the one to grant us true peace of the soul and give us rest. Only believers in Jesus Christ have the possibility to experience the peace of God. All others will strive for this peace but never experience it.
Yet, believers still stress out over things. What is the solution? It is basically to let go and let God handle it. Easy to say, but much more difficult to do. Paul wrote to the Philippians about having this inner peace.
“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5b–7, ESV)
The solution he gives is listed here. First, remember that the Lord is with you always. Second, spend time in prayer. Third, in your prayer also give thanks for His presence, provision, and protection. Keep doing this by faith and in due season, your hearts will be comforted as you realize that you are not alone and Jesus is with you, in you, and working for you in the midst of the situation.
“Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.”