“Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Psalm 85:10
I believed in the peace of God before Kim’s death. I am a beneficiary of peace that is birthed by mercy and grace. Peace results when I avoid what I deserve—experiencing mercy instead—and I receive what I don’t deserve—experiencing grace instead. Come to grips with and understand mercy and grace and you experience peace. Simple and profound.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
Peace is a gift given to guilty sinners who experience mercy and grace. Guilt is overcome by peace. But again, eternal or pervasive peace is foundational and is delivered upon salvation. It’s a once-and-for-all-time gift.
However, there is another dynamic to peace, a daily peace. We live in a fallen world. There are tough days. There are illnesses. There are persecutions. And there’s a peace-in-the-storm kind of peace for every day. It rises as a fortress around your broken heart. That kind of peace passes perceptivity. It surpasses your understanding. Miraculous.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
“But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.” Psalms 37:11
That kind of peace stands as a guard over your heart and mind. Waves may crash in upon you. Death of a loved one. Loss of a job. Injury. Diagnosis. Accident. Despair rises before you and somehow—a miracle of God’s mercy and grace—peace encamps around your heart. You simply have to press into the proffered peace. In his book, Though I Walk Through the Valley, Vance Havner writes, “God has provided a garrison for his people to protect heart and mind.” It is beautiful and beyond comprehension.
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13
R. C. Sproul has said, “He is both the Prince of Peace and he is our peace. …Our peace with God is not fragile; it is stable.” Amazingly, God does not provide from afar. He is up close and intimate. He is gentle and lowly in heart. Take his yoke and you experience rest, peace. Peace he gives is both gentle and powerful. Elizabeth Elliot calls it a “strange, inexplicable peace…”
“Hail! All hail! The peaceful country of eternal calm…There the Lord my Shepherd leads me, wheresoe’er He will; In the fresh green pastures feeds me, by the waters still.” Gerhardt Ter Steegen, Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others
Sproul has further written, “It is a holy peace, a peace that is ‘other’ than routine earthly peace. …peace has been established.” Peace for eternity and peace for today.
Here’s my testimony: Jesus really does give the kind of peace that surpasses understanding.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30