The key element in true, lasting peace is the presence of God. Isaiah says to God, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You” (26:3). Christ is our peace—His presence is the presence of peace within us (Eph. 2:14). And so Jesus declares, “In Me you may have peace” (John 16:33).
What is this peace? It is an inner sense of contentment and quietness, regardless of life’s circumstances. It is steadfast confidence in our ever-faithful, immutable heavenly Father. It is the presence of joy in the midst of unhappiness.
True peace does not merely dull our pain. A person who has genuine, godly peace can endure an avalanche of hardship and difficulty and still enjoy an inner peace that surpasses all human understanding. Why? Because it does not come from pleasant circumstances, nice events, or good things others may do for us. Instead, it is based on the fact that the Spirit of our holy, omnipotent, and never- changing God lives within us.
Does enjoying God’s perfect peace mean that you’ll never feel the effects of the storms raging around you? Hardly. But His peace is complete, adequate, and sufficient for anything you face. Keep in mind three keys to experiencing sustained peace:
• Focus on God. Perfect peace comes when you fix your mind on God. You must discipline yourself to meditate on God’s presence and work. When you spend time concentrating on a problem, does it not seem to grow bigger? In the same way, you will have a greater sense of God’s presence and provision as you fix your mind on Him.
• Trust Him. You never have to worry about God acting too late or providing insufficient help. His timing and purposes are perfect; in fact, He uses your tribulations to reveal more of Himself to you. His Word is full of rock-solid promises, many of which involve granting you peace. Know that He will always honor them!
• Meditate on His Word. Psalm 119:165 emphasizes that those who love God’s Word have great peace. Your most precious material possession is your Bible. Every believer should love God’s Word and feast on it daily. If you love it, you’re going to believe what it says— and then it will guide and anchor your life.
Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley’s Life Principles Bible, 2008.