In a world of chaos and busyness, conflict and confusion, it is easy to take the word ‘peace’ as a fleeting moment of calmness, instead of a cornerstone of who we are as believers.
‘Prince of Peace’ is one of the many names of our Christ Jesus. “…and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” [Isaiah 9:6]
The prophet Isaiah’s words point to the hope that Jesus would bring to a world in need of a Saviour. However, calling Him ‘Prince of Peace’ does not promise a world free of conflict, or struggle, – instead, it promises us an eternal peace, a reassurance of eternity that can never be taken away from us, despite our situation. The promise is that Jesus means peace. When we invite Jesus into our lives, by the essence of His very name, we also invite peace. There is not one without the other.
“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 ESV]
The Hebrew word used by Paul for peace – ‘shalom’ – speaks of a completeness, a wholeness, and in the New Testament context, a spiritual harmony brought by an individual’s restoration or closeness to God. And what’s more, He gives peace to us. In order to be given something, we have to receive it. Everyday, may we consciously choose to partner with a peace beyond what our minds may understand.
In Ephesians 6, Paul encourages the church in Ephesus. A piece of our daily armour is the Sandals of the Gospel of Peace.
It amazes me that simple sandals are included as a part of this essential armour to wage war against the enemy. Shoes are the only offensive weapon in this arsenal. Not only does this element of armour refer to the gospel of peace that Jesus bought us, but also the peace that we can physically place our feet firm in the truth of who Jesus is. The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries words this excellently, “…a beautiful paradox, …in the midst of great struggle, the Christian has inner peace; he is fighting against evil within and without, but with the purpose that nothing may prevent his taking the gospel of peace and reconciliation to the world”. Therefore, despite warfare, we have already won, carrying the peace of Jesus into our everyday lives, standing unmoved by any attack.
We need to consciously choose to partner with this peace – making an effort to acknowledge and accept God’s peace until it becomes ingrained into our habitual lives.
So, what does peace look like? Personally, peace looks like understanding that despite the stress of life, or the thought of my future, I have an unshakeable completeness and harmony
with Jesus – anywhere I go, whatever I do, I have access to the reassurance and clarity that God brings. It is not the absence of conflict, stress, or frustration, but the presence of the Holy Spirit Himself, reminding me that the Prince of Peace is partnering with me, and that peace can never be stolen from me.
Peace is a weapon, something that we can use to stand face-to-face with uncertainty. Understanding this: while we may not know the answer, God does, and we can trust Him to reveal that to us in time.
By Mikaela Lloyd