Psalm 34:14 (New International Version)
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
Peace can be more than the mere absence of conflict or anxiety.
Followers of Christ can enjoy peace in the midst of troubling circumstances because we place our hope in God’s goodness, sovereignty, and unshakable love for us.
• We can seek peace in a troubled relationship because we don’t depend on others to meet our soul-deep needs—God Himself promises to meet them.
• We can let go of insults, criticisms, and rude remarks because we don’t let them define us. We already know we are precious to God exactly the way he made us. We can be confident because he chose us to spend eternity with him.
• We need not fear others because they cannot threaten what matters most in us. God’s angel “encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them” (Ps 34:7). If we trust him, God protects our hearts and secures our souls from evil.
• We have reason not to say or do hurtful things to others because we know that God loves our adversaries as much as he loves us. He does not wish us to be used as instruments of torment against them.
• We have reason to do good to those who abuse us because God intends for us to be the very light that shines in our darkest circumstances. We are the blessing meant for those who oppose us, and we shine to please God, not people.
To seek peace is to seek the face of God in the everyday world, even in dark circumstances and hurtful relationships. He promises never to leave us alone in our trouble: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Ps 34:18).
FATHER, I long for relief from the anger and pain that keep me tethered to a relationship wound. Give me ears to hear your voice and eyes to see your face when I am surrounded by trouble. Thank you for sending your Spirit to teach me how to recognize and receive the peace that only comes from you.
Matthew 5:43-45; John 14:27
How does God’s peace differ from the kind of peace the world seeks?