I can already hear the crickets!
Before you completely tune me out, please consider this: God would never have given us this mandate if it were not possible to achieve. It is achievable on a spiritual level, as much as it is on a personal/soulish level. However, it begins with a decision to set aside our personal views and agendas for what God has purposed for our lives. The Bible tells us that the peace of God surpasses our human understanding (Philippians 4:7). This is the type of peace we have access to--we have access to peace that does not make sense! When everything around us suggests that we have every conceivable right to be worried, anxious, irritated, and annoyed--God says, "Peace". Jesus left each and everyone of us with the gift of peace. This is the type of peace that quiets and stills restless, angry hearts. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."
Word Study of Romans 12:8
- Possible (G1415) dynatos: able, strong in soul, having the power for something
- Live Peaceably (G1514) eireneuo: cultivate or keep peace, harmony, be at peace
So, how do we cultivate peace in our lives that starts within us and permeates out?
We cultivate our relationship with the Prince of Peace. We receive the gift of peace that Jesus offers each believer (John 14:27). This enables us to interact with one another from a state of harmony, wellness, tranquility, and soundness. It's astonishing to study the ways in which Jesus interacted with others in His supernatural peace. Even as He was being betrayed by Judas, His words to Judas were, "Whatever you are going to do, do quickly" (John 13:27). As He was being crucified on the Cross, He ministered to His mother (John 19:26) and assured the criminal hanging next to Him that he would be in paradise (Luke 23:43).
I hear you..."That was Jesus!" True.
But, His Power is within us to do what seems impossible (Matthew 19:26).
Perhaps you are not "feeling" this one. Perhaps you feel that you have been wronged or mistreated and therefore your decision not to be at peace is justified. Got it.
If you have been wronged and are feeling the pain of brokenness, hurt, and inner wounding, God can handle that. He promises to meet us where we are in our present state. We simply give him our hearts and let him know we don't feel "ready" to accept peace. May I suggest, that that level of transparency and openness is a major step in your journey towards healing. Truth, honesty, and vulnerability in the presence of a loving, compassionate God is the beginning of the soul's inner wellness and restoration.
Father, in the name of Jesus, we thank you for your word. Thank you for giving us a roadmap for life. We thank you for your gift of peace. We thank you for the ability to live at peace with others. Help us to be conduits of peace. May people we interact with encounter your peace at work through us.
And Father, for those who are grappling with making a decision to receive your peace--we thank you that your grace is sufficient and that your strength is made perfect in our weakness. We lift their hearts up to you now and trust your care, love, compassion, and healing will bring wellness and victory to their lives in Jesus' name. Amen.