Part 1 was about peace with God, which is the result of being reconciled to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Part 2 was about the peace of God that comes in response to making requests to Him with thankfulness and giving our cares over to Him.
This post is about a peace that rules in our hearts, a ruling peace. It turns out that this has been the most difficult aspect of peace to write about. I pictured an armored sentinel at the door of my heart keeping everything out except peace. She would be peace personified. I was actually daydreaming about this as an analogy—until I got cut off in traffic and she disappeared. But I persisted in this line of thinking until I found myself standing in a FedEx location frustrated with the clerk about a lost package. I know, just little things, but how quickly my peace went missing!
After taking another look at the passage, I realized that my analogy wasn’t very good.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
The first thing I see is that a ruling peace is not passive but requires action on my part. Let the peace of God rule: I have to allow it to rule in my heart. Peace doesn’t push its way in and stay there, I have to allow it in and keep it there.
The verse also shows me that I am called to this ruling peace, so it is the Lord’s will that I seek peace and give it a welcome place in my heart.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Thankfulness is such an important part of peace and life in general. We saw this in Part 2 where the peace of God comes when we make requests of the Father with thanksgiving. Being thankful is especially vital in recovery because it makes us conscious of all we have instead of what we lack. In the midst of trials and struggles, we can find plenty to be grateful for. When we remember to be thankful and speak of those things to God and others, we allow peace to rule in our hearts.
It can be difficult to be thankful if this is not something you are accustomed to. To develop the habit of thankfulness, consider writing a “gratitude list” before you go to sleep at night. Write down the things you are thankful for; as the old hymn says, count your blessings, name them one-by-one. Be thankful even when things aren't going well. It is easier to establish the habit when things are good, but do it regardless of your circumstances.
I have struggled with the concept of “pray without ceasing,” but now I see part of it as a consistent attitude of being thankful—recognizing God’s blessings throughout the day and whispering thanks to Him in my heart. That keeps His peace ruling in my heart.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).
So much of the ruling peace comes from knowing the word of God. Our world has become such a crazy place full of confusion and lies. That is why we need the “comfort of the scriptures” that Romans 15 refers to. We need the sanctifying power of the Bible to show us the truth that makes us free. We need a daily diet of reading, studying, memorizing, and meditation on the word of God to make thorough recovery and healing possible. We are spirit, soul, and body and the spirit is fed and strengthened through immersion in the Bible.
There are particular portions of the Bible that especially allow the peace of God to rule in my heart:
The Proverbs: Proverbs is a great place to find wisdom for staying pure. There are 31 chapters so you can read or listen to one a day for a month.
The gospel of John: If you are a new believer or desire to know God, John’s gospel highlights the saving work of Jesus Christ and shows that He is the eternal God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
The book of Romans: Romans is like a “legal” document that gives the details about salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It shows that salvation is God’s work not ours and that those that are born again are eternally secure in Him. Knowing this provides great peace!
Other Pauline epistles: I love the smaller books like Ephesians and Colossians because I can read and meditate on them in a shorter period of time. These are my favorite books to listen to as I fall asleep at night.
When all else fails and a ruling peace in my heart seems elusive, I go to the end of the story and think about where I will be a thousand years from now.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:1–4, emphasis added).
That always gives me peace.
Do you have peace? Jesus Christ is the source of all true peace. He is the Prince of peace. Make sure you know Him.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
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