As a writer, I know that endings are difficult. I always hope to leave you with some kind of positive sensation—about your life, about your future, about God’s message, and about Him—yet also motivate you to move out on the truths you’ve just learned.
Peter faced this same dilemma as he was forced to lay down his pen. It’s probable that Peter hadn’t even met the people who would read his letter...and that he would never meet them. But knowing of their struggles and being a shepherd at heart, Peter wrote his letter.
And his subject matter—suffering for doing what is right—was certainly something he knew all too well. He’d witnessed the suffering of his friend and Savior. He knew all about the hounding crowds, the belligerent rulers, the ranks of armed soldiers, the brutal trials, the cross.
After writing a letter that was so much about suffering and perseverance, his ending word selection was very intentional: “Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:14)
These are words of unity, love, and peace written carefully many years ago—and yet so powerful for our faith journey today.
I’ve learned there are two kinds of peace needed in the arena of life, both available to us from and through God: personal peace and interpersonal peace.
Everyone’s been in situations where there’s strife and malice with others. And it can be so easy to succumb to our negative emotions and actively engage in the conflict. Thank God for making His peace—our ability to promote interpersonal peace—available through His Holy Spirit!
God will help us honor Him in our responses: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
And then there is the area of personal peace, which is sorely needed when facing terror, fear, panic, dread, doubt, and restlessness of spirit. For these deeply felt difficulties and sorrows, Peter includes this powerful word of reminder: Peace.
How can you seek and secure God’s peace in your daily life?
- Take your tendency to panic...and instead rest in God’s presence.
- Take your tendency to terror...and instead trust in God’s wisdom and ways.
- Take your tendency to dread...and instead accept God’s dealings.
- Take your tendency to nervousness...and instead know God is in control.
Peter was with the Lord when He said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
And now Peter passes on to us the very essence of the personal words Jesus spoke to Peter and the other disciples as they faced what was to come: “Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
Lord, thank You for Your peace. During times of turmoil with others or trials that are heavy on my heart, Your peace is sufficient and ever-present. May I seek You with the cup of my heart and be filled again and again with the sweet, calming peace of You. Amen.
Prayers for a Woman’s Heart by Elizabeth George – Prayers and devotions to help you grow in wisdom, patience, and peace!
What emotions tend to run high for you? Panic, terror, dread, nervousness? Confess those to the Lord and ask Him to replace them with His rest, trust, and peace.
There are two kinds of peace needed, both available to us from and through God: personal peace and interpersonal peace.