The promise of 'peace' is a wonderful subject and with it comes many promises from or heavenly Father so that we can enjoy real peace in the journey of life.
We often hear people talking about the peace of God and the peace with God even of the peace from God so I think it good for us to look at the three of them from the promise point of view.
The 'peace with God' is the foundation of the Christian faith, the fact that through Jesus Christ our rebellion against God is over.
We talk glibly about 'sin' and usually point to the fruits of sin, murder, lust, jealousy and the like when that is not the root of the word.
Sin literally means rebellion and that brings us to the state of people from birth until their conversion, living in opposition to God and rejecting His word.
The fruits of sin are many and scripture out lines many of these pointing out at the same time that these should now not even be talked about in the Christian community.
So let us look at the 'peace with God' and to Colossians 1 v 20 where we take note that the Father and the Son are intimately involved in this peace process.
The fact that human nature is born into rebellion as a result of Adam and Eve rejecting Gods way of living and following the deception of the evil one is there for all to see.
Equally it is clear for all to receive that the Lord Jesus came from the heavenly place into this world with the clear mandate to bring the two warring parties together again.
He was willing to sacrifice His life to rescue repentant sinners like us, so that where once we were enemies we are now made friends.
We have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Acts 10 v 36 alongside the Colossians reading bring home to us the vital role of the Lord Jesus in bringing peace to us.
Romans 5 v 1 gives us the assurance that we all need that through faith in Christ Jesus sacrifice on Calvary we have 'peace with God' what a promise to claim.
It is the Living God and our Risen Saviour who are offering us that peace, it is a peace that passes intellectual understanding as it sweeps away the strife that dominated our life.
This peace introduces us to three welcome facts, first that we can now commune with them, second that we have access continually to their presence and third we can enjoy their company all the time.
In a short space of time our life has been transformed from being aliens and strangers to become an intimate friend of the Living God and we can share everything with Him.
Is it little wonder that Paul goes on to tell us to rejoice in the facts that are placed before us and to dwell on the fruits of repentance, tribulation, patience, experience, hope.
Now that is a remarkable change around and we need to learn to appreciate the 'peace with God' as an on going daily experience.
The second thought for the day is that we have the 'peace of God' dwelling in us as repentant sinners, the Lord Jesus introduces us to this truth in John 14 v 27.
He was talking in terms of His death, resurrection and going home into eternity His disciples were mystified by it all they could not take it in.
Then the Master opens up to them the truths that would ultimately transform their thinking and living 'I go to prepare a place for you and I will come again to receive you to myself'.
It was the unveiling of Gods eternal plans and it is based on His peace so that in v 20 the Lord Jesus says clearly 'My peace I give unto you' it is a present possession.
In the midst of all the trials and tribulations we can know experimentally the 'peace of God' there is an inward peace when the relationship is right that is beyond words for description.
The struggle and strife outwardly is borne up because inwardly there is the peace of God that sustain us in the storms of life.
Paul brings this home to us in Philippians 4 v 7 the well known verse 'And the peace of God that passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus'.
The promise is given by our heavenly Father for all who seek to walk according to His word will enjoy that wonderful peace.
To enjoy that peace in the middle of the storm of life is beyond explanation by mouth and mind but it is experienced in the heart and spirit effecting the physical, Godly contentment.
Now we can rejoice in our Lord Jesus that He always keeps His promises and therefore we can know the 'peace of God' experimentally in our journey homewards.
Romans 15 v 33 reveals the truth that we are pondering 'Now the God of peace be with you all' the prayer of the apostle is still being offered and answered today.
The benediction becomes reality for the Christian disciple, they enjoy this peace and are refreshed in it day by day as they commune with their heavenly Father.
We now need to see that this peace is attacked by Satan and our spiritual life is thwarted by the enemy at every turn and we need to keep our relationship open and vibrant with the Lord.
The third thought for today is the 'peace from God' that we receive as we walk in harmony and unity together through life.
Turning back to Philippians 4 vs.7 and 9 we see the two aspects of true peace, it keeps our heart from fretting v 7 and it keeps us safely through the day.
We are still prone to worry, fear and fretting because of the earthly house or frame that we are but there is a peace that we can enjoy that sweeps away those physical ailments.
'Peace' here points to rest and contentment, it points to an undisturbed and untroubled spirit that is resting in the complete work of the Lord Jesus.
The connecting v 8 reveals to us the virtues of the Christian life that we should be learning, receiving and practicing so that the peace of God will abound in us.
The strife comes when we wrestle in the Spirit over the actions and activities that hinder our walk with the Lord, the battle between the flesh and the Spirit cause us untold damage.
We want to remain in control of our life when the Holy Spirit is showing us the danger of us doing so and wants us to enter into His rest.
Colossians 3 v 15 take this on, in v 10 we are reminded that we have put on the new man, we are a new creation living for the Lord and not for ourselves any more.
We have become a holy person that is being renewed into the image of Christ and we should stop the struggle and strife so as to enjoy the peace of God v 15.
We should be a thankful person seeing all that has been done for us and is still being done for us so that we can become a satisfied person knowing the real peace of God.
This is not just a happy feeling felt in the mind when things are going well for us but it is the deep contentment that produces gladness of heart permanently.
Writing to the church at Thessalonica Paul wants this experience to be with them all in the church all the time 2 Thessalonians 3 v 16.
He longs for the Living God to give them His peace continually so that they can live in harmony with each other rather than fight amongst themselves for supremacy.
The word 'give' points to the promise that He has given to us, 'give' means to bring forth, to commit and deliver His peace to the believer.
What is being sought after is the peace of God 'that brought the Lord Jesus back from the dead' Hebrews 13 v 20 now what peace that revealed is truly beyond words and yet is the experience of the trusting soul in the Lord Jesus.
The word 'now' here means in this present scene, in life today, to be known right now by those resting in the Lord.
What a mighty God we are communing with, the Creator of all has now condescended to reach out to folk like us and to give us His peace that will bring us into a life of contentment as the Lord Jesus outlined in Matthew 5 – 7.
The peace of God is a priceless gift that we shall truly appreciate in eternity, the peace of God is something we are beginning to enjoy today in increasing measure.
The peace from God leads us into a beautiful harmony not only with the Living God but also in the fellowship of believers that we call the Church.