What is the difference between peace with God and the peace of God? Have you ever wondered about that?
I want you to know right from the start if you are a Christian you already have both of these kinds of peace. You may not actually know it, but you do.
Peace with God
Before a person is born again or saved they cannot know either one. We are actually enemies of God. We are born with a sin nature which is bent against God in every way. We cannot please God. We are not at peace with God, and we do not have the peace of God. We are God’s enemy and we are hostile toward Him.
Jas 4:4 NASB You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
When we trust in Jesus Christ we become a new creation and things change.
Col 1:21-22 NASB And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, (22) yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach–
We were alienated and hostile toward God, but once He redeemed us we become children of God instead of enemies of God. Jesus can present us holy and blameless before a holy God. What a difference! We obtain peace with God, the moment we are saved.
Rom 5:1 NASB Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (italics mine.)
Remember, your friends who are not believers do not have peace with God. It is impossible! That may explain some of their actions and many of their worries and fears. There is a war waging inside them between themselves and God. They are actually spiritually dead.
Peace of God
Now we get to the exciting part for Christians. You, right now, this moment, no matter what’s going on in your life; no matter how you feel; you have the peace of God! That is a bold statement for me to make. But it’s true. We all have it. God has given us everything we need to live a peaceful life, but most of us don’t realize it. Let’s go to scripture and see what God says.
First of all God tell us not to be anxious about anything. If it were not possible He would not have told us that. It is a command, and if we are to be obedient we have to learn how we can cease from anxiety and worry. He gives us the antidote right here. We go to God in prayer and ask Him to meet our needs, and we do it with an attitude of thanksgiving. He says to make our requests to God.
Php 4:6 NASB Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
When we do that the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds if we are believers. And, we will be surprised at this peace because it goes beyond what we can comprehend.
Php 4:7 NASB And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Then, Paul says to do the things he taught them, and to look at his life as an example, and when you do the God of peace will be with you. Isn’t that amazing? It is all right here. God is the God of peace. He originated peace. We have His peace in us and it is activated when we obey his commands.
Php 4:9 NASB The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Oh, why do we make it so hard? There have been many books written on how we can have a peaceful life. God doesn’t make things difficult. We do!
When we were saved we received the Holy Spirit as He came to live in each and every one of us. Having the Holy Spirit allows us to grow the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We already posses these fruit, but in many of us they lay dormant. They need to be cultivated by renewing our minds with the Word and acting on it in obedience. You will notice that peace is one fruit of the Spirit. See there it is! We already have it!
Gal 5:22 NASB But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Italics mine.)
It is important to realize that when we keep our minds fixed on God, He will keep us in perfect peace. The reason this is true is because when we do this we indicate that we trust God. He is trustworthy.
Isa 26:3-4 NASB “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. (4) “Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.
There is a big difference between believe and trust. You can believe the facts about Jesus. You can believe He is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that he was buried and then rose again the third day. You can believe all the facts about Jesus and yet not be saved. Did you know that? I can prove it because even the demons believed and knew who Jesus was, but they were not saved. They even shuddered to think about Him.
Jas 2:19 LITV You believe that God is One. You do well; even the demons believe and shudder.
So, there is more to it than merely believing the facts about Jesus. You must trust Him. There are many people in churches today who call themselves Christians but who have only believed with a head knowledge. They believed an idea, and never really trusted in a personal Savior.
We must trust Him with our very lives. We can believe something but it becomes trust when we put it in action. For instance, say I’m looking at a chair to sit on. I can know a lot about that chair. I can know what color it is, what it is made of, and what shape it is. But, that is not trusting the chair. That is just head knowledge about the chair. I trust the chair when I take the next step and actually sit down on it. That is trust. I trust the chair is going to hold me up.
You see, we can believe all about Jesus Christ, and not really trust Him. We trust Him when we give up ourselves and rely on Him completely. We surrender our whole selves to Him. That is trust! We trust Him to take care of us, to provide for us, to work out every detail of our lives. That is trust! We look to Him alone for salvation. We trust and expect the peace of God. We depend on Him and not on ourselves or others. He is Lord and Master of our lives. That is trust!
Do you trust Him my friend? Is He the one who rules your heart? Do you have peace with God? And, do you have the peace of God? He is the God of peace. When we activate the peace of God in our lives, we will not worry and be filled with anxiety and fear. They cannot live together. Satan is the author of unhealthy fear and unhealthy thoughts.
Rom 16:20 NASB The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
2Th 3:16 NASB Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!