“Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.” (Eze. 47:5)
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Just as love is the opposite of hate, peace is the opposite of fear. In the same way that we can’t love and hate someone at the same time (James 3:12), we can’t have peace and fear at the same time. Peace is the absence of fear.
This doesn’t mean that we’ll never be afraid. Unexpected situations and circumstances will always arise that can cause us to be surprised and have sudden fear, or to be temporarily afraid.
But there is a place in Christ where the mind numbing, heart gripping state of fear cannot exist. This is when we are swept up in the river of God’s peace.
The apostles were a good example of this.
Before the Holy Ghost came on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were always finding themselves in situations where they were fearful.
Whether it was a storm on the sea, the announcement of a child’s death, or the unexpected appearance of Christ walking on the water, Jesus was always reminding them to not be afraid.
“But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” (Matthew 14:27)
However, after the Day of Pentecost had come and the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost, they began to walk in a new found state of peace that only the Holy Spirit could produce.
This peace was so powerful that fear could not exist in its presence.
The night before Peter was to be executed, instead of being filled with fear and worry, he fell into a deep and peaceful sleep. The angel of the Lord had to slap him on his side to wake him up before he could miraculously remove his chains and rescue Peter from the prison cell. (Acts 12:6-7)
Paul and Silas also dwelt in this state of peace. After having been beaten and thrown into the dungeon for their testimony of Christ, they sang songs and hymns at midnight.
Their peace was so great that instead of escaping, they and all the prisoners continued to stay in their cells after God sent an earthquake to open all of the prison doors.
Upon witnessing this miracle of peace, the jailer and his whole household accepted Christ and were saved. (Acts 16:23-33)
This kind of peace was not only for the apostles, disciples, and the early church. The same Holy Spirit that indwelled them and produced this miraculous condition is the same Holy Spirit that comes and lives inside of us today.
“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39)
The same river of peace that flowed inside the apostles is flowing inside of every believer today who has been born again and received the Holy Spirit.
However, there are many who have yet to discover the keys that will unlock the gate and allow the river to not only flow inside their spirit, but also fill their hearts and minds.
In other words, that this peace would not only reside within them, but would also be manifested in their lives.