Thursday, October 16, 2014

Peace Beyond Understanding

Thank you Holly for walking along
on our spiritual journey. Check out Holly's blog for more great posts.

At the beginning of the week, Holly sends a tweet that includes the topic for this week's Spiritual Journey. This week's topic: peace.

I was working with some 8th grade students today at school. We were reading about Malala and her winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Peace was a new English word for one of my students. As we talked about the meaning of peace, and finally looked up the translation, one of my students eyes suddenly got a different look. He finally got the meaning of peace. He understood. 

"The opposite of war. Right, Ms?"

That got me thinking. There must be so many people who think peace is just the opposite of war. Nothing more. Just a physical peace. What about inner peace? What about the peace that surrounds you even when your life is anything but peaceful? What about the peace that Jesus promised to leave for us?

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

There must be a special kind of peace that is not dependent on the outside forces, but comes as a gift from above. Peace that is freely given. Not earned. There are mornings when I am tired, feeling short tempered, not sure how they day will unfold. Prayer. Simple request to ask God to surround me with His peace. He has never failed to answer my prayer! Even when I have been reluctant to even say the prayer aloud. He has never hold my lack of faith as deterrent to giving me His peace.

His peace is more than just not being in the middle of a war. His peace gives me the ability to respond with love and patience even when I don't feel like it. His peace inside me gives me the ability to keep on working with a child who has been disrespectful and annoying for the last few months. His peace is not dependent on how I feel. His peace is a free gift given with love.

This is my prayer for each of you today:

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4: 6-7


  1. I love this distinction -- you're right, we don't earn peace; however, because we are loved, it is given. Thank you for sharing -- it is a blessing.

  2. Jaana, I LOVE this! That Philippians verse is one of my favorites!! Here's my favorite part, "His peace is not dependent on how I feel. His peace is a free gift given with love." It's so true and we are so blessed. Thank you for sharing your words on peace this morning! :)

  3. Like Amy, I love this distinction. The understanding of peace just being an absence of war is a simplification of the word and concept. God can even give peace in the MIDST of war - Malala is an example of that. It is such a powerful thing that we can be assured of peace no matter what the circumstances. Thank you for this post!

  4. Jaana, peace is ever present in your post as you reflect, question, and write. Thank you for the scripture quotes and the revelation that your 8th grade student only thought of peace as an antonym of war. Malala has brought recognition to the plight of children, women, and the necessity for peace and human rights. I wrote a post about her last year: Perhaps you would like to read it. Peace be with you today.


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