“The work of righteousness is peace, and the result of righteousness is quietness and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17)
In a Peanuts comic strip, Sally tells Charlie Brown, “I hate everything. I hate everybody. I hate the whole wide world!” Charlie Brown replies, “But I thought you had inner peace.” Sally responds, “I do have inner peace. But I still have outer obnoxiousness.”
Inner peace can be elusive. Ordinary, everyday life is so complicated that we often find ourselves stressed out and feeling anything but peaceful. We may want inner peace–we may even think we have inner peace–but sometimes our outer obnoxiousness proves us wrong.
Let’s look at three components of peace found in Isaiah 32:17.
- Righteousness. Peace with God is the building block of a peaceful life. There is no real peace without being at peace with God. In the words of C. S. Lewis, “God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from himself, because there is no such thing.” Sin separates man from God. When we repent of our sin, God cleanses us through the blood of Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). We enter into a right relationship with God. We are made righteous, and righteousness brings peace.
- Quiet. Before there were cars, televisions, and smart phones, the world was a quieter place. As life became busier and more complex, it became harder to hear and access the peace God offers his people. Psalm 46:10 tells us to be still and recognize that God is God. We need to regularly take a “time-out” in our busy routine to focus on God. In a place of quiet and calm, we find God’s peace.
- Confidence. Peace becomes real in our lives when we are confident in the God we serve. From a prison cell, Paul wrote these words: “The confidence of my calling enables me to overcome every difficulty without shame, for I have an intimate revelation of this God…” (see 2 Timothy 1:12). Are we really confident in God? Or do we find ourselves easily shaken when we encounter difficulties? We experience peace when we remain confident that our God is more than able to carry us through any situation we may face.
Distractions, challenges, and even ordinary, every-day life wars against peace. Yet, in the midst of the whirling chaos, God still stands ready and able to fill hearts with confidence, stillness, calmness, and his perfect peace.
Father God, I praise you today. You are holy. You are wise. And you are a God of peace. I need your transcendent peace in my life. Lord, forgive me for the times I become too busy or too distracted to walk in your peace. Forgive me for the times when I lose confidence in your faithfulness and choose to focus on my problems. Touch my heart and give me a spirit of peace. In Jesus’s name, amen.