First, we have been reconciled to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. We who were once at enmity with God and the world have been given the gift of peace, which was made possible because the Son of God endured the unpeaceableness and cruelty of the world for our sake. He took on flesh, entered the hostility and the chaos of the world, and secured salvation through His atoning death. Our peace has been purchased by the blood of the Lamb, and that blood makes the foulest sinner a child of God. Through Christ and the indwelling Spirit, we have been made right with the Father, and that peace with God is the source and fountain of peace in God.
Second, that which God has secured will not be forgotten. God’s providential care frees us from the stress and burdens of life. As His adopted children, we are not left as orphans but are instead entrusted to His care in all things. He is the sovereign God over the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, neither of which fall victim to worry because He sees to them. So why do we fret, though we are of much greater worth? Has our heavenly Father remembered them only to forget about us? Of course not. Rather, Jesus beckons weary and heavy-laden souls to come to Him for rest, and that rest manifests itself in a calm assurance that all is well—regardless of our circumstances.
Third, the peace that has been secured in Christ and manifested throughout our daily provisions must be constantly fought for in our lives. Though our peace is ultimately founded on God’s faithfulness, our lack of faith can diminish it. In the midst of the storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus admonished the winds and the waves (and no doubt His disciples too) with the words, “Peace! Be still!” before turning to the frightened men to ask: “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:38–40). Likewise, the Apostle Paul reminded the Philippians that through “prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” they were to battle their anxious thoughts and have the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:6–7). These verses demonstrate that while we are not the ultimate source of peace, we can contribute to it by applying principles of Christian faith and discipline.
Fourth, Christians are to be peacemakers in the world. Conflicts, disagreements, and harsh words ought to be resolved quickly so as to restore the unity and peace of a relationship. Harmony with God requires love and accord with one another (1 John 4:20). This is especially true in marriage and in the church. And while it also applies to our relationship with the greater world, that may not always be feasible. That is why Paul added the caveat, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Rom. 12:18).
The world desperately desires and speaks longingly of peace, but it can only be found in the God of peace, secured through the Prince of Peace, and given as the fruit of the Spirit of peace. This irrevocable blessing is constant through the ever-changing circumstances of life and is a bedrock truth that we as believers are to treasure and enjoy. Just as Jesus spoke “Peace! Be still!” on that stormy night on the sea, so He is speaking (and supplying) the same peace into troubled hearts of believers. So, the next time your pastor raises his arms and pronounces the blessing of peace, receive it and rest in this true gift given to you.