What comes to mind when you hear the word “peace?” For some, it may be a serene scene like a forest in winter with snow falling, or a feeling of well-being with friends and family around them. For me, peace is not necessarily the absence of strife, but a deep sense in my heart that everything will be alright. It’s a feeling that no matter what, God has this, and I can just relax. As we finish up Advent, the last component is Peace. Our Bible Journaling verse for today says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 CSB) I looked at this verse in several versions and the Contemporary English Version (CEV) says, “Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” No one can have complete peace unless we belong to Jesus by asking Him to forgive us of our sins, come into our lives, and turn total control over to Him. This makes all kinds of sense to me.
Albert Barnes, in his commentary on Philippians, states, “The peace here particularly referred to is that which is felt when we have no anxious care about the supply of our needs, and when we go confidently and commit everything into the hands of God.” Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (KJV) When we keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus, we can be assured of peace in our hearts.
The first step to peace in our hearts, however; is to accept Jesus as the Lord and Savior of our lives. We cannot have true peace without the forgiveness of our sins and giving God total control. We must come to a decision…what will we do with Jesus? Will we accept Him, or will we reject Him? Each one of us must come to that point in our lives where we decide to follow Jesus and turn total control over to Him. You may ask, “Why do I need to do this?” God loves us, and He wants a relationship with us. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (NIV) The Bible tells us that every single person is a sinner, and our sin separates us from God. God is perfect and He cannot be in the presence of sin, therefore we cannot have a relationship with Him because of our sins. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”(NIV) Our sin breaks fellowship and has a penalty. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” (KJV) Only by Jesus’ death on the cross was the payment of the penalty of death accomplished. Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV) He is the only way to salvation. (John 14:6) We must receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior to be forgiven of our sins and have a relationship with God. John 1:12 says, “As many as have received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who call upon His name.” (NIV) When we pray and ask Jesus to be our Savior, we are welcomed into the family of God with open arms, and He gives us His peace.
The world gives a type of peace, but it is fleeting; it is not the total, everlasting kind of peace that stays with us no matter what situation in which we find ourselves. It is a true, lasting peace that only God can give. Are you looking for real peace? You can find it by asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins, come and live inside of you, and walk with you throughout your lifetime. If you haven’t asked Him to be your Lord and Savior, today is a good day to do it. The Bible says, “now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)