“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 walking in the peace of God.
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.
There are three keys that will open the door to the peace of God that resides in our inner man. Once opened, this supernatural flood of God’s peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ.
These three keys all have to do with having faith in God.
“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22)
These three keys are: (1) having faith in God’s love, (2) having faith in God’s will, and (3) having faith in God’s righteousness.
Before God’s peace can fill us to the overflowing, there must first be room for it. This involves the removal of fear. This is the first key.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1John 4:18)
There is only one perfect love and that is the love that comes from God, for God is love.
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1John 4:16)
To have faith in God is to have faith in God’s love.
The Bible says that we did not choose God, but that God chose and called us. (John 15:16)
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44)
We would not have even wanted to come to God and be saved if He had not put it in our hearts to do so.
The Bible says that while we were in our mother’s womb He saw us and chose us. He ordained how we would look and he fashioned us in the way that would please Him. (Psalm 139)
When we were ready, He put it in our hearts to desire Him and come to Christ, and now that He has us nothing can separate us from His love.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom. 8:35)
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Rom. 8:37)
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,” (Rom. 8:38)
“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:39)
God loves us no matter what!
God’s love is not based upon anything that we have or have not done.
God doesn’t love us because we read the Bible, attend Church, spend time in prayer, or give offerings. He’s pleased that we do these things, but that is not what causes Him to love us.
God doesn’t even love us because we have quit sinning and love Him, for the Bible says:
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
God loves us simply because we exist.
“We love him, because he first loved us.” (1John 4:19)
He loves us because we are. Nothing can change His love for us. That’s what perfect love is. Nothing can affect it. Nothing can alter it. It does not change.
And it’s not a general, “love for all” kind of love. It’s a personal, intimate kind of love.
Before Christ died on the cross, God’s love was a love for all mankind.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
It was because of His love for all men that He gave His son, but now that His son has been given, God’s love for us is not only perfect but also personal.
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matt. 10:30)
Like a father admiring his child sleeping in the crib, our Heavenly Father looks upon us daily and counts the hairs upon our heads. He knows exactly what we will need before we even need it, and has prepared it in advance.
“Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matt. 6:8)
“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24)
He who knows the ending from the beginning is never surprised or unprepared, but has already solved the problem before it even appears.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1Cor. 10:13)
The first step in having God’s peace is to understand and believe in God’s perfect love for us, that nothing can change or alter it, and that it’s not based upon anything except for the fact that we are His creation.
Because of His love for us, God will do whatever it takes to preserve us. Knowing and believing this will drive away all fear from our hearts and will prepare us to be filled with the peace of God that passes all understanding.