What Does Peace Really Mean?
The dictionary tells us the definition of peace is freedom from disturbance; tranquility. We usually take that as having no chaos in our lives, being free from any heartache, craziness, or difficulty. But what if I was to tell you that true peace happens in the heart? Yes, True peace is the feeling of calm, the feeling of love even in the eye of the storm. What does this mean and how do we get there, that is what today’s episode is all about.
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peace: /pēs/noun – freedom from disturbance; tranquility.
This is the definition, but what does peace really mean?
I know I did not understand the true meaning of peace for a long time. My idea of peace was the absence of chaos. Peace was when things were quiet, the world seemed calm, a few minutes that this mama gots alone after a crazy day of babies and life.
But as with everything else in my life, when I truly accepted Jesus into my heart, the term Peace took on a whole new meaning.
The truth is, the world is rarely calm. We rarely have moments when things are quiet in all respects. We spend our time running from here to there. To-do lists are a mile long. Kids need to be bussed from one side of the city to the other. People are upset. Traffic is terrible. And this is all before 9 o’clock. And if it’s not physical chaos, it’s mental. The internet has transformed our once quiet evening into a bombardment of opinions, arguments, offense, and piety. Our time is rarely spent living in the traditional definition of peace.
By worldly standards, peace is that elusive thing, that state of being where all is calm. And just like all the other lies we believe when we try to do this world without God, we mistakenly believe that if we just have that job, just schedule things right, just learn how to communicate, go on vacation, make the perfect plan, just do all the things right somehow peace will be achieved. WE on our OWN strength will figure it all out and achieve the elusive unicorn of peace.
But it never happens. We never make it there. And the more we fail to achieve the more unrest we feel.
We are in a storm- the turbulent storm of life absent of peace that we can achieve on own.
A bit of a depressing outlook, really.
That’s the worldview.
But it doesn’t have to be this way…
As I was reflecting on this I kept thinking of Jesus Calming the Storm
23Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
27The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”
The disciples were worried, afraid, and stressed.
When they express this worry to Jesus, He doesn’t ask, “what is going on.” He doesn’t say, “Yeah, we should be worried. Oh man, this is a messy situation.” It was clear that it was, but He responds by addressing their faith. Their worry shows their lack of faith in Him. He is calm, tranquil, peaceful even the eye of the storm.
Faith in Him meant peace.
As with most of the stories of Jesus, and well, the whole Bible, this is not an accidental story. This story has meaning far greater than a bumpy ride in an actual storm.
It is the storm of life.
And in all storms, faith in Him is peace in the middle of the storm.
It just takes the right mind shift. Life is never going to be calm. We will never have true tranquility all around us. Life is life and things will always get bumpy. But true peace is in faith, in our hearts, in God.
One of the most known verses in the bible about peace…
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7
….His peace exceeds, transcends, surpasses all understanding. Wow!
Throughout the new testament, Paul talks about the transformation that happens within us when we fully surrender and accept Jesus as our savior. This is a hard one coming from a works-based mindset. Aren’t we responsible for making all the things happen in our lives? The world would have us believe that.
But something just absolutely crazy happens when we realize peace is not the absence of chaos and we are not responsible for eliminating all chaos from life. Nothing will ever be that perfect. We will never be that perfect.
Peace, the peace of Jesus comes to us with our faith in Him, and then we are transformed.
So many women I have talked to on the Finding Faith Above podcast talk of times when life has been unbelievably hard. They have been in the eye of the storm, but when they find faith, when they give it all the God they all talk of the peace that they have.
They experience an overwhelming sense of peace despite the hardest moments imaginable.
That peace is not the peace of this world. It is Jesus.
One of my favorite verses of all time is written in red- from Jesus.