Peace should be the normal condition of a believer in Christ. Jesus said that He gave us His very own peace (John 14:27). So why are so many Christians not experiencing the peace of God?
Many Christians are full of anxiety, fear, and discouragement just like unbelievers.
The truth is, we have been given the peace of God as a gift, but many of us are not accessing it and maintaining it.
One of my mentors taught me that the first discipline of the Kingdom is to maintain our inner peace.
Over the years, I have discovered the profoundness of this advice.
When we are not in peace, it’s harder to hear the Lord. When we’re not in peace, it’s a sign that we’re walking after the flesh, which leads to corruption (Galatians 6:8).
Another one of my mentors frequently says “if it costs you your peace, it’s too expensive”. This sounds simple but it is such wise advice.
Maintaining our inner peace is something we can do, because the Word of God instructs us to let the peace of God rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15).
God doesn’t instruct us to do something that He hasn’t given us the ability to do.
This means we must learn how to let peace rule in our hearts. If God tells us to do it, then we can be certain that He has empowered us to do so! It’s just a matter of learning how to do it.
Here are 5 ways to maintain your inner peace according to the Bible. Put these into practice and you will experience a completely different life!
1. Right Standing with God
Ultimately, true inner peace comes from knowing that we are in right standing with God by His grace.
This comes from knowing that we have been forgiven, justified, and made righteous through what Jesus has done.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1 NKJV
Being in right standing with God is completely, totally by grace.
We have to understand and embrace the grace of God in order to have peace with God. There’s no other way. It is absolutely impossible to earn right standing with God by our own efforts (Romans 3:30, Galatians 2:16).
When you know that you’re at peace with God, you can be at peace with yourself and those around you. Peace with God only comes from knowing Jesus, and understanding His grace.
Jesus is our peace (Ephesians 2:14). He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). There’s no true inner peace without knowing Jesus.
The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. Isaiah 32: 17 NKJV
Righteousness is simply right standing with God. The Hebrew word that was translated “work” in this verse means “by implication, a product…property” (Strong’s Concordance). So, peace is the product or property of righteousness.
Those who aren’t experiencing peace either do not have right standing with God because they have not been born again, or because they don’t understand their right standing with God.
In the New Covenant, this only comes through putting faith in what Jesus did for us by grace (Ephesians 2:8 and 2 Corinthians 5:21).
We have peace and right standing with God because of what Jesus has done! The very righteousness of Jesus Himself has been given to us.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Properly understood, right standing with God will cause peace, quietness, assurance, and confidence according to Isaiah 32:17.
God is the God of all peace (2 Thessalonians 3:16), and as His children, it is our inheritance to walk in peace.
All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
2. Keep Your Mind Stayed on the Lord
Isaiah 26:3 says:
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
This verse is promising us perfect peace when we keep our minds stayed on and trusting God. This reveals that our emotions follow our thoughts.
This is good news, because we have control over our thoughts and thereby the emotions that are flowing through our soul.
Emotions are not just a result of circumstances. People can go through the exact same negative situations and experience them totally differently. This is because the way we think about what happens to us and the way we process our environments are what make us react the way we do in our thoughts.
The only sure way to walk in God’s perfect peace is to keep our minds stayed on Him. We have to have our minds focused on the Lord to the degree that we start walking by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
This promise in Isaiah 26:3 gets even better! The word “peace” in this verse is the Hebrew word šālôm, which means peace, completeness, soundness, safety, health, prosperity, welfare, soundness in body.
Wow! What a promise. Those who keep their mind stayed on and trusting in the Lord will be kept in perfect šālôm.
2. Be Spiritually Minded
Romans 8:6 says:
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
We can’t walk in the Spirit and in the flesh at the same time. It’s one or the other, not both simultaneously.
What does it mean to be spiritually minded? Jesus said that His words are spirit and life (John 6:63). So to keep your mind focused on the Word is be spiritually minded.
In our spirits, we are righteous and truly holy (Ephesians 4:24), and the Lord relates to us according to who we are in our spirits (John 4:24). As we keep our mind on who we are in the spirit, we stay spiritually minded and will reap life and peace.
Most people pray to God to give them peace. But 2 Peter 1:2 says that peace is linked to the knowledge we have. Specifically, the knowledge of Jesus and what He has done for us that is found in His word.
Peace is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22). When we are walking in the spirit by keeping our minds focused on things of the spirit, peace is a byproduct.
Peace is not something that is supposed to come and go. We have been empowered to walk in peace all the time.
3. Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled
Did you know that Jesus instructs us to let not our heart be troubled (John 14:1)? Most people don’t even consider this a possibility.
Jesus is saying that it’s up to us to control our heart. It’s God’s power that makes that possible, but we have to make the choice and draw on God’s ability. How do we do that? This verse goes on to say, “believe in God.” Faith is how we conquer our emotions.
Jesus made these statements to His disciples the night before His crucifixion. Even in circumstances as terrifying as what they were about to go through, Jesus was telling them not to let their hearts be troubled.
Jesus also told them how to do it. Believe! Faith in God is the victory that overcomes the world and all its troubles (1 John 5:4).
This reveals the authority we have over our emotions. The Lord would have been unjust to command His disciples to do something they were powerless to do.
Therefore, we can control our emotions regardless of how things are going. We can make a commitment to “not let our hearts be troubled”.
If we let our emotions run away with us, then it’s nearly impossible to reign them in. It’s easier to hold them at bay than it is to stop them once we have let them go.
If we start meditating on what is going wrong in our circumstances, then negative emotions grow stronger and stronger and harder to gain control over. If we give place to fear, it’s harder to reign in.
We need to learn to control our emotions in order to maintain our inner peace. Most battles are won or lost in the first few moments, according to the way we allow our emotions to go.
When a troubling situation arises in my life, I feel all the emotions of fear, stress, and anxiety come at me, just like anyone else. But we can choose in that moment to turn our minds to God’s Word.
Two verses that are helpful for me in situations like this are Exodus 14:14 and John 16:33.
It’s so empowering to know that you have control over your own heart.
Other people and circumstances cannot steal your peace unless you allow them to divert your attention away from the Lord and His Word.
Someone once told me that we own our own feelings, attitudes and behaviors. The reality of this is so empowering.
Read: Affirmations for Peace
5. Walk in Love
The first fruit of the Holy Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22).
Walking in love keeps us walking in the spirit, and the fruit that comes with that includes peace.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Galatians 5:13 tells us that the way to overcome the flesh is through love. Negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and bitterness come from the flesh.
When we walk in love, it acts as a guard for our hearts and minds. When we walk in love, we won’t be in unforgiveness, hatred, jealousy, or seeking revenge. These emotions steal our peace.
It’s hard to be in fear when we are walking in love. In fact, the Bible tells us that perfect love will drive out fear.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 NKJV
As we walk in love, peace is the result. Walking in love always starts with receiving His love first (1 John 4:19).
Work to Maintain Peace
Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. Psalm 34:14 TLB
Maintaining our peace is something that we learn and work at. It doesn’t come naturally to the un-renewed mind. We must renew our mind to stay in peace. But it is totally possible!
The Lord shall fight for you, while you hold your peace. Exodus 14:14 MEV
Jesus gave us His peace as a gift. Therefore, we don’t have to worry, fear, or stress regardless of what happens. We have the power to reject negative emotions and receive the peace of God by faith.
Our peace isn’t human or natural. It’s Jesus’s divine peace.
Jesus distinguished His peace from what the world calls peace. In the world’s mentality, peace is the absence of problems.
However, God’s peace is not dependent on circumstances. It is dependent only on God Himself who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Christians can have great peace even in the midst of terrible problems because our faith is in God!