I have a dear friend who faithfully and tirelessly listens when I’m wrestling with an issue or decision. Patiently she waits for me to vent all sides of whatever has me tied up in knots. She asks hard questions that force me to get honest with myself and God, she reminds me of what the Bible says, and then she ends with these two words her pastor spoke to her when she was growing up: “Follow peace.”
Not the peace of “Peace, Love, and Happiness” or the peace of tolerance or even the peace of the path of least resistance.
The peace to follow is the peace of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace Himself (Isaiah 9:6) who IS our peace (Ephesians 2:14).
So to follow peace is to follow Christ; to follow Christ is to follow peace.
That doesn’t mean God’s answer will necessary be the easiest option before us. He doesn’t promise a conflict-free, trouble-free life. In fact, Jesus warns us in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation.” We can expect to endure challenging circumstances. We will encounter situations in our time here on earth that will baffle and bewilder us. In fact, sometimes He orders, allows, or tells us to do extremely difficult things. But look at the words of Jesus before and after his warning: “In Me you may have peace…be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Even in the midst of uncertainty and indecision, even in the face of death, “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37). Knowing this, and knowing God will answer us and that we will recognize His answer by the peace He gives, we can find rest for our souls.
He reveals mysteries (Daniel 2:22, 28, 47). He gives strength to His people and blesses them with peace (Psalms 29:11). We can trust Him to make His answer clear, because “God is not the author of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Jesus tells us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
As Joseph, the son of Isaac who is sold into slavery by his very own brothers, tells Pharaoh when the king calls him to interpret his dreams about scrawny cows devouring fine-looking ones and thin heads of grain devouring plump and full ones, “God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace” (Genesis 41:16).
My friend, when you look to God for the answer you need, you can know God will give you an answer of peace. As God’s people, in the face of catastrophe, declare in Psalm 85:8, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints.”
That same verse, however, issues a warning: “But let them not turn back to folly.” And in verse nine, we see, “Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him.”
In seeking answers from the Lord, we must be doing what the word of God tells us to do. “Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea” (Isaiah 48:18). But “’There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked’” (Isaiah 57:12). “The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace” (Isaiah 59:8).
Whatever answer God gives, we can know it will always line up with His word. If we are doing what He says as we wait to hear from Him, peace will always be the product. We cannot follow a crooked path and expect to have God’s peace, for “to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
In the face of God’s peace, doubt and indecision dissipate. We are free from striving to figure things out on our own according to our own understanding. We can let the peace of God rule in our hearts and be thankful (Colossians 3:15), for “You (the Lord) will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).
The Lord says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Therefore, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Lord, please bless us and keep us today; make Your face shine upon us, and be gracious to us; lift up Your countenance upon us, and give us peace (Numbers 6:24-26). As the God of hope, please fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). Lord of peace, give us peace always in every way (2 Thessalonians 3:16) as we become more wholly Yours today.