Oh! For peace and a quiet life
Updated: Jul 25
“Oh! For peace and a quiet life.”
You must have heard someone call that out or used those words yourself, for it is a sentiment familiar to most ordinary people.
Here in the western world, we had lived through the 'Cold War' when an uneasy peace prevailed, yet through those years, there were wars around the globe, in Africa, Asia and South America. Right now, the conflict in Ukraine rages, and thousands are dying, lives are in turmoil, and the noble institution of the United Nations is powerless to bring peace. So much for world peace.
What of individual peace? One way or another, we get caught up in various conflicts, strife and disagreements about politics, within the industry, between friends, churches and families. Divorce brings heartache and misery to so many. Oh! For peace! Do take time to read Psalm 46; there, you will find a better, more accurate description than mine of a troubled world.
However, the purpose of this short article is to consider with you just a few thoughts from the Bible on this subject of Peace. The God of the bible is referred to often as 'The God of Peace' see Philippians ch 4v 9 or Hebrews ch 13 v 26, just two examples. Then we find the Lord Jesus Christ is called 'The Prince of Peace' by the prophet Isaiah in ch 9 v 6; we will look very briefly at three things the Bible says on our subject; Peace.
The Old Testament Prophet Isaiah in ch 48 v 22 and again in ch 57 v 21 says 'there is no peace saith my God to the wicked and in ch 59 v 8 'the way of peace they have not known.' Then in the New Testament, St. Paul writes in Romans ch 3 v 17, 'the way of peace they have not known. You may well ask, of whom does he speak? If you want to know, read verses 10 to 18 of that third chapter. St. Paul there aptly describes all humanity. Before a holy God, we are all sinners who cannot know real peace. The human heart is 'deceitful and very wicked'. By nature, our sin separates us from God so that we do not know Peace.
We are urged to find fulfilment, be successful, enjoy ourselves, keep fit and healthy and think highly of ourselves. Many put on a brave face while harbouring uncertainty, restlessness, fears and the fear of death, which gnaws away constantly. There are no satisfying answers to the big questions and issues of life; why am I here? What happens when I die physically? There is no peace within. Dear reader, it need not be so.
Peace with God
Secondly, and in sharp contrast to those described earlier, I would have you know that some have peace with God. Every true Christian believer is someone who once had 'no peace', but now, having owned up to their need for inner peace and put their trust in Jesus Christ, they have Peace with God. St.Paul explains this so clearly in Romans ch 5 v one, where he writes, “ Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. I have heard people say, “make your peace with God.” However, that is not possible; only the Lord Jesus can reconcile us to God. This is often made clear in the Bible. See Colossians ch 1 v 20, which says, “having made peace through the blood of His cross” yes, Jesus died to reconcile us to God. In our natural, human state, we are 'at enmity' with God, but the good news is that through Jesus Christ, there is a way to 'Peace with God'.
I wonder if you are earnest in wanting peace in your heart and mind? If so, listen to the often-repeated message of the Bible, which tells us to 'Repent and believe in Jesus Christ. Peace of soul is inseparable from the joyful experience of believing and accepting God's saving grace. St.Peter, when preaching in those early days, says in Acts ch.10 v 36, “the word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ”. No need to go on living with inner questions, doubts and fears; peace with God is possible through the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Peace of God
Lastly, a few thoughts on the Peace of God here is found true treasure, something to be known and experienced day by day, to be enjoyed whatever your circumstances. No wonder Christians sing so much about Peace, a 'peace they never knew before they believed and were reconciled to God. St.Paul writing to the Church at Philippi, says that this Peace“ passes all understanding.” It has to be experienced to begin to understand. This Peace of God has strengthened, sustained, kept and cheered Christians throughout the ages. In Psalm 29 v 11, we read, “the Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with Peace". The prophet Isaiah ch.26 v 3 says “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee”. This is the Peace of which the Lord Jesus spoke when He said to his disciples, see St.John ch.14 v 27, “Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give unto you”. No wonder Jesus slept on the boat so tossed about in a storm that His disciples feared for their lives. Then, when they woke Him, He stilled the battering wind and waves, and all was calm.
There is a hymn written over 100 years ago but loved and often sung by those who know the Peace of God; it goes, “Peace perfect peace in this dark world of sin, the blood of Jesus whispers peace within”. There is collect in the Anglican morning prayer which aptly calls God – the author of peace and lover of concord. My earnest prayer for you, dear reader, is that you will believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to make peace with God for you so you may know the Peace of God in your soul. You can also find a recent sermon from Mr John Stover at Whiddon Valley Evangelical Church below on this topic.