Peace is a word we often use as a greeting or as a closing in our letters and our conversations. When I was a young hippie wannabe, I heard that word a lot. Now as a Christian I read it in the bible and say it numerous times every day, most often in my prayers for other people. What is it about peace that causes us to desire it and to pray for it for ourselves and for others?
According to the dictionary, the word peace means: the cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension; freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, obsession, etc.; a state of tranquillity or serenity. Peace is a state of rest - of true rest, not just bodily rest but of "soul rest"; and it is state of rest or tranquility that every one of us longs for.
From my experience, lasting peace is found only in God. One of the names used for Jesus in the Bible is Prince of Peace, and on the night He was born the "heavenly host" proclaimed and rejoiced that peace had come to the earth. Jesus truly is the Prince of Peace but His experience of life on earth was anything but peaceful. He endured suffering and humiliation and torture and death on a cross, but He did it all so that we who choose to follow Him could have peace. Peace of mind. Peace of heart. Freedom from fear, anger, worry, strife. Those of us who know Jesus and are "in Christ" can dwell in this state of tranquility and rest "that transcends all understanding" every day because He overcome the world and won that peace for us. That doesn't mean that we don't experience difficulties in our lives but that even in the midst of our difficulties we can have and experience peace.
I'm thankful that today peace reigns in the Women of Hope house because the Prince of Peace dwells and reigns in every heart here. Thank You, Jesus, that you loved us enought to pay the price to set us free from sin and fear and strife. Thank You for Your peace that passes all understanding.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 20:27