"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid."
Did you know the word "peace" appears 86 times in the New Testament? Many times its reference is to reside an inner conflict. But most often it is referred to as a greeting. In fact, when Jesus first met his disciples, his first words were, "Peace be with you."
Peace comes from the Hebrew word, Shalom. Shalom is used to both greet people and to bid them farewell. In the Bible, Paul used it to begin and end each of his letters. He writes:
Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He
promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning
His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who
was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead,
according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we
have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of
faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake, 6 among whom you also are
the called of Jesus Christ; 7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as
saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We'd all love to have peace on the surface each day of our lives. Unfortunately, no one can give us that. There are winds that blow, and storms that come up that are the nuances of life. After all, God gives others freedom of choice too, and often, their freedoms impinge upon our lifestyles.
Yet, we all can have that peace that resides deep down in our hearts. The place where we are the most "me". The place where we connect deeply with God. That place is the true peace Jesus wishes for his disciples and all who follow him. The peace that Paul begins and ends each of his letters with. The peace that is promised 86 times in the Bible. What a gift that his handed to us! All we have to do is move to our inner peace through the spirit any time we need to.