The Bible indicates that peace is a function of integrity: Peace is what we experience when we are at one with God: when we, as regents of his reign over creation, align our lives with his good purpose. Peace is what we enjoy when we are at one with our neighbors: when none of us sees any of us as threats. Peace is what we feel when we are living with integrity: when we are at one with ourselves, without deceit, duplicity, dishonesty, or dissimulation. So it makes sense for the term “peace” to carry with it the connotations of health, soundness, welfare, quiet, tranquility, wholeness, and completeness. To the degree that we have integrity in any of these contexts, to that degree we know the fullness of the peace God intends for us. We need a peacemaker to integrate us with God; so Jesus came to establish and to proclaim this reunion; and to make us peacemakers who will pursue the panoply of peace in all of our contexts. Considering the following promises will help us fine tune our faith for those times when we sense our lives are disintegrating.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace … And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. Ephesians 2:13–17 (cf. Isaiah 57:18)
In a world perpetually in conflict, the possibility of peace seems highly improbable. But as improbable as it seems, we earnestly desire such a state; we want release from the obvious fears. Even more, we would love to be free from the deep anxiety, from the sense that a great sword hangs over our heads, from the nameless, disintegrating dread lurking in the dark corners of our souls. God wants us to be free from this fear too. While “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom,” our Creator wants this to be a theoretical construct rather than an existential reality. For this reason he sent the Son to propitiate his anger over our rebellion. When Jesus was born, the angels acknowledged how glorious God was for making it possible for there to be peace between him and us. Jesus himself proclaimed the offer of reconciliation for anyone who would swear fealty to the Ruler of the universe—anyone, regardless of national origin, social status or gender. Through Christ, fellowship replaces fragmentation; alignment replaces alienation; and agreement replaces antagonism. When we are at peace with God, the God of peace will equip each of us with all we need in order to accomplish the good he desires us to do.
Merciful God, make my life a compelling demonstration of the reality of being at peace with you.
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