Peace Like a River
Amidst many attributes and gifts that accompany salvation is one of the main ones, Peace. Mentioned 400 times in the Bible.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Jesus made this statement to the disciples along with the promises regarding mansions. Obviously the only source of real peace is Jesus Christ. The earth has never, in its long existence, had world wide peace. When it says, "peace, peace", then sudden destruction comes. I was reading an article this week about what life is like for citizens in a war zone. It's the closest thing to Hell on earth. What does Roosevelt, Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohitu bring to mind? They were the main leaders of the warring factions of WW2. I hope I make a point here by saying when nations war, it is generally centered in certain individuals who cannot get along with each other. Generally money, land and subjects are the subjects or objects of war. Two or more people get into it because they cannot co-exist in peace.
Now for the biggie. The Bible sums it up by stating the there is no peace to the wicked. In longer theological thought, that is a simplistic way of saying there is no natural peace with God, and if there no natural peace with God then there is no natural peace with one another, and if there is no peace with one another then there is no real peace inside ourselves.
When you follow the times that Jesus used the word, "peace," you quickly realize the connection. Our lead text says that the world is incapable of giving the peace that Jesus gives. A real Christian will almost give the illusion of speaking a fantasy when speaking of the peace that Jesus gives. The title of this article references the chorus song that is a favorite of most believers. Peace like a river. Like the song says, Jesus peace mainly affects and effects the soul. But so that we avoid the accusation of being fanciful, we need to remind us that when the soul is affected, then the whole self is affected. A real believer who has the peace of Jesus in his soul, is much more likely to be at peace with his neighbor as long as the neighbor is willing.
The peace of God passes all understanding. Peace with God means that you do not feel threatened by God. You do not feel that God hates you. You do not feel that God is upset with you. You. You do not feel that God is holding something over your head. You can talk with God and know that he is hearing. You can ask God to supply your needs, and watch how miraculously he supplies your needs. You do not visualize God as some almighty supreme being out in outer space, by contrast you feel as close to Him as your dearest friend on earth. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
When we are inhabited by the peace of God, we are never deeply troubled by situations and circumstances. We have the peace of God that assures us that no matter what, it will turn out for the good, because God is taking care of the situation or circumstance. Those in the world get all bent out of shape by their situation or circumstance, but a Christian simply puts his trust in the Lord.
The greatest thing about the peace of God is the calm peace on the question, "Where will you spend eternity?"
Many people today think they are headed for Heaven, simply because they do not believe that any God would send any one to Hell. Many others think that they are as good as, 'some of the Christians they know!" But, both these types are going to be sadly shocked soon when they realize that God is going to do exactly what the Book says he is going to do. Hell awaits all of those who are not born of the spirit of God and missed his peace.