About 8 years ago, I stopped watching the news. It was just too full of horrible events going on around the world. I found myself more anxious and scared. As a young mom, I knew something had to change. Not only did I stop watching the news, but I started focusing on Jesus. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
To continue my blogging series about the names of God, I want to share with you a post from Lisa Dean.
Lisa is a writer passionate about helping people cling to the peace only Jesus can provide. She writes and creates resources to invite readers on a journey of cultivating and claiming the peace of God. You can find her online at lisazdean.com or follow her on Instagram @lisazdean.
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Jesus is the Prince of Peace
Although the conversation happened over ten years ago, I remember it vividly. I sat at a cafe table cradling a cup of lukewarm coffee between my hands. In recent days I had experienced a depressive slump and couldn’t seem to lift myself out of it. I looked at my friend and asked her, “If we’re Christians, we’re supposed to have the peace of God, right?” She nodded her head.
“Then why doesn’t it always feel that way?”
My friend could only answer, with a knitted brow, “I don’t know…” I looked out the nearby window feeling the weight of my emotions not understanding why my life wasn’t lining up with God’s promise of peace.
Maybe you’ve encountered this disconnect between biblical truth and the emotions you feel, or maybe you’re experiencing it right now.
Jesus tells us He gives us peace.
Why then, do we not always feel at peace?
Why does it seem our peace is here one moment and broken to shards around our feet the next?
We want to believe he gives us peace and is our peace, but our lives can often look and feel chaotic.
It’s easy to conclude that since God and His Word are truth, and His Word promises peace, then the problem is us.
Have you ever wondered if there’s something you’re doing (or not doing) that is messing up the perfect peace of Jesus?
Before we can sort out the problem, we first have to understand the biblical definition of peace and what God’s promises about peace mean for us today.
Definition of Biblical Peace
Peace, as the world might define it, is the absence of conflict. World peace is wished for by pageant contestants.
Nobel peace prizes are awarded to those making strides to bring nations into an agreement, to end fighting, and dispel threats of war.
The world might also define peace as the absence of inner conflict and the ability to fall asleep at night without a care in the world.
While these definitions of peace may be like the biblical definition, it’s important to make the distinction.
“Peace” often appears in our Bibles as the translated Hebrew word “shalom.”
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines “shalom” as “completeness, soundness, welfare, peace.”
Biblical peace is not found in you or me, unless Jesus is found in you or me.
Jesus is the embodiment, agent, and only source of lasting peace.
There is no true peace found apart from him.
To understand how this could be, we go back to the creation story.
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Peace as God Intended
When God moulded the world and breathed life into animals and humans, He “saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31a).
Adam and Eve existed in perfect harmonious fellowship with God.
When the lies of Satan and the sin of a man popped the bubble of perfection, it swept away their intimate fellowship with the Father.
Peace shattered like a mirror, and in its place sadness, remorse, and longing took root in all mankind.
The good news of Isaiah 9:6 promises that the brokenness caused by sin will not reign forever.
A Prince of Peace was coming:
- Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The peace of Jesus restores what was broken in the Garden of Eden.
Jesus came to bridge the gap between God and man. The most important definition of peace is the one that results in our reconciliation with God.
- Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In this sense of the word, peace isn’t a feeling at all. It’s the restoration and healing of our fellowship with God made possible by Jesus Christ.
However, there is a connection between the peace we have with God and our emotions.
- Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
When we sit and savor the wonder of the gospel, we feed our affection for God and uncover the accompanying experiences of delight and freedom.
The second biblical definition of peace is one that describes the experience of our hearts and minds.
One of the most well-known verses on peace,
- Philippians 4:7 assures us that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The Greek word “peace” in this verse is used in various ways throughout the Bible.
One of The Blue Letter Bible’s usages is described as “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.”
In other words, the more tightly we cling to life in Jesus, the more loosely we hold the temporary life we live on this side of heaven, and the more serenity our soul gains.
While we live out this life, we have great peace knowing we never do it alone.
We do not walk through any valley of darkness or climb up any sunny peak apart from God’s presence. He is with us and for us, regardless of what comes our way.
This aspect of peace is one we can actively nurture and cultivate.
The more we know God, sit in His presence, and delight in Him, the greater our peace and joy.
Speaking of meditating on the truth, J. I. Packer says, “it is as we enter more and more deeply into this experience of being humbled and exalted that our knowledge of God increases, and with it our peace, or strength and our joy” (Knowing God, p. 23).
The third description of biblical peace speaks to relationships and conflict.
Paul instructs us saying,
- Romans 12:18 so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all
As Christians, we should seek to forgive and show grace and mercy. We reflect the light and peace of God into a dark and broken world.
Notice that Paul doesn’t tell us to live peaceably at any cost.
There are situations that warrant a confrontation of sin, and we must risk discomfort out of love for people and obedience to Christ.
Jesus even says,
- Matthew 10:34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
We must understand the fact that loyalty to Jesus comes at a cost. That cost may look like sacrificing peace with friends and family.
Just as the Jews anticipated the advent of the Prince of Peace, we now anticipate His return—a time when perfect peace will reign.
On that day, wolves and lambs will coexist without bloodshed (Isaiah 11:6), and “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore” (Revelation 21:4).
People will cease to inflict wounds on one another, and we will live in unity.
The Timeline of Peace
Jesus’s death and resurrection guarantee a future of perfect peace among His people, but the fullness of that reality isn’t here yet.
We live in an in-between time.
- In the past, our Prince of Peace died and rose again. Because of Him, a reconciled and restored fellowship with God is now available to all who put their faith and trust in Jesus.
- In the present, while we wait for Jesus the Prince of Peace to return, how we experience peace in our hearts and minds is dependent on our ability to grasp, dwell, and soak in the reality of our new life in Christ.
- In the future, God will usher in a new heaven and a new earth where every ugly word spoken and every painful wound inflicted will vanish. Peace in every sense will be restored and The Prince of Peace will sit on the throne forever.
When I think back on my conversation at the coffee shop, I wish I could time travel and tell my younger self and my friend that there is something we can do to nurture and cultivate our peace.
I would say, “Pursue knowing God. Prioritize Him before all else. Even when you don’t feel it or experience it, God’s promise of peace is real and true. Set your mind on the good news of the gospel, and as your understanding deepens, so will your peace.”
While we Wait
The peace that Jesus offers is different and better than that of the world.
Inner serenity and the absence of conflict are not guaranteed on this side of heaven.
In fact, we see Jesus himself was the focal point of conflict and dissension before his murder. Leading up to his death, we know he was sweating drops of blood because of the internal anguish he experienced.
But we are not without hope.
Jesus already paved the path to peace by purchasing our reconciliation with God.
We have not yet experienced the fullness of peace because we still dwell in a broken world.
Our “already” but “not yet” reality means we can pursue peace today knowing one day we will find complete wholeness and healing in His presence. The shattered pieces of peace will be put right again.
Isaiah 2:4 describes our future when tools of war will be converted to tools of farming. Immediately following those verses the Bible says,
- Isaiah 2:5 Come…let us walk in the light of the LORD
While we wait, let’s walk in obedience to Christ, our Prince of Peace.
For a practical way to pursue peace, checkout her free Journaling Toolkit: A Prayerful Approach to Fostering Peace, Contentment, and Growth.
In The comments below, share how Jesus the Prince of Peace has impacted your life.