There are many nights that I suffer from restless leg syndrome. I have had this syndrome for several decades. It often plagues me with pain and involuntary movement of my limbs for several hours until the medication I take for it controls it. There are nights when, during those few hours when the leg movement and pain are seemingly out of control, I am in what seems like pure agony. There is no peace at all in me.
This morning, as I woke up, God brought the song In Christ Alone to my devotions. I listened to it. The phrase "What heights of love, what depths of peace" piqued my curiosity. What is God’s peace? What is the difference between peace with God, the peace of God, and the God of peace? I found all three of these areas important to understand as a follower of Jesus.
The definition of the peace of God, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is the peace of heart that is a gift of God. A Biblical definition of peace is completeness, fulfillment, wholeness, harmony, and security or well-being even in times of adverse circumstances.
Peace with God is first and foremost found only in a person who knows Jesus as Lord and Savior. When we put our trust in Jesus as our Savior, our sins have been forgiven, and we are seen as righteous through our Savior’s righteousness. God sees our sin no more. We are accepted and adopted by God as His children. What a wonderful gift this is to have. (Romans 5:1, Colossians 1:19-20, Ephesians 2:15-16, 2 Corinthians 5:18)
But now, as we have peace with God, we gain the peace of God to rule in our hearts and lives. This peace comes to us through the Spirit living in us. The Spirit speaks God’s truth to us in all areas of our lives. This peace grows in us as one of the fruits of the Spirit. This peace can calm any storm in our lives that we are experiencing. This peace is stronger than any anxiety that we may experience. (John 14:27, John 15:26, Galatians 5:22–23, Isaiah 26:3, Philippians 4:7).
The God of Peace is the third phrase I heard that I wanted to learn more about. In an article by H. B. Charles Jr. titled "Blessing and Praise," the God of Peace is described as: "God is our source of peace. God is the substance of peace. God is the sustainer of peace. God is the supply of peace." So, without God, we cannot have true peace in our lives. 1 Corinthians 14:33 assures us that God is not a God of confusion but of peace. In most of the Pauline letters, Paul opens or closes his books by saying, "May the God of peace be with you." (2 Corinthians 13:11, Philippians 4:9, etc.) God is at work in our lives and ordains peace for us. (Isaiah 26:12).
So, as I ponder these three phrases about God and peace, it seems to me that understanding that God is a God of Peace is most important. God wants to have peace with men, which can only be accomplished through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior on the cross of Calvary. Only by believing in Jesus do we have peace with God. Then, by His Spirit living within us, we can experience God's peace and all the gifts we inherit as children of the Living God.
So the next time you encounter either physical, emotional, or spiritual anxieties, remember these glorious and wonderful truths and seek your peace from God.