Peace that Surpasses All Understanding

The Lord will give strength to His people;

The Lord will bless His people with peace.

Psalm 29:11

It is indisputable that the Lord bestows enumerable blessings on the inhabitants of this world. The greatest blessing is a given, but establishing which of those blessings is the second greatest would be a matter of opinion. The second greatest blessing that the Lord bestows upon His people, in my opinion, is an abiding, inner peace. It is that peace that enables us to cope with life’s daily challenges and with the increasing turmoil that is so prevalent in the world today.

In John 14, Christ states clearly His desire for His disciples to be at peace.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Verse 27

It is notable that He declared this gift just a few hours before He was taken captive in the garden of Gethsemane.

A couple of chapters later, even closer to the time of His arrest, we have record of an interesting exchange between Christ and the apostles.

“ ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.’ Then some of His disciples said among themselves, ‘What is this that He says to us, “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again, a little while, and you will see Me”; and, “because I go to the Father”?’ They said therefore, ‘What is this that He says, “little while”? We do not know what He is saying.’ ” John 16:16–18

Then Christ explains in verses 19–28 what He meant—although still a bit cryptically.

The disciples responded to His explanation: “His disciples said to Him, ‘See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.’ ” Verses 29, 30

Then Christ challenges them: “Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? Indeed, the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. …’ ” Verses 31, 32

Then in His continuing determination to provide them with comfort—even though He knew that they still did not understand or realize what was going to happen beginning in just a few hours, He added, “ ‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’ ” Verse 33

The events that followed over the following days were the fulfillment of many ancient prophecies. Then at least three times after His resurrection, Christ entreated peace upon His disciples once again. We have a record of those blessings in John 20.

“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ ” Verses 19–21

Remember that when this scene occurred, Thomas was not present, and because he did not see the resurrected Christ, he refused to believe. His unbelief led to the third recorded time that Christ promised peace to the apostles.

“And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’ ” Verse 26

The promise of peace that Christ would reveal, or give, or make possible had been promised hundreds of years before in a prophecy that is very well known and much cherished by the Christian world:

“For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6

That promise was repeated when the angels made the grand announcement to the shepherds attending their flocks. They concluded their announcement with the wonderful statement recorded in Luke 2:14 that meant more than we even understand today: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Even in the midst of the chaos of end times, the Lord makes this wonderful promise in a prophecy yet to be fulfilled:

 “For the mountains shall depart

And the hills be removed,

But My kindness shall not depart from you,

Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,

Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.”

Isaiah 54:10

There are equally wonderful promises of peace through Christ in the writings of Paul.

Even though his relationship with Christ began in a way that might be seen as somewhat unsettling, if not even a bit brutal, he nevertheless understood the basis and very foundation of that relationship when he wrote to the Romans, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1, 2

As evidence of Paul’s conviction of the peace that Christ provides, we need look no further than the salutation of all 13 of his epistles:

Romans 1:7

1 Corinthians 1:3

2 Corinthians 1:2

Galatians 1:3

Ephesians 1:2

Philippians 1:2

Colossians 1:2

1 Thessalonians 1:1

2 Thessalonians 1:2

1 Timothy 1:2

2 Timothy 1:2

Titus 1:4

Philemon 1:3.

All begin with some version of the same salutation: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

It should be indisputably clear that there is nothing more in this world that Christ and those inspired by Christ want for His followers than peace—an inner, abiding peace that can only be obtained through faith in the promises in the inspired word.

It is likely that as you read this article, you have at least one, if not many, favorite promises that instill within you a comforting sense of peace. A favorite for many people is found in Philippians 4:6, 7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Earlier in this article, it was noted that Christ and those inspired by Him consistently wish peace for His followers. In the devotional Our High Calling, there are several passages that refer to the peace that Christ wants His followers to experience.

“Shortly before His crucifixion Christ bequeathed to His disciples a legacy of peace. … This peace is not the peace that comes through conformity with the world. It is an internal rather than an external peace. Without will be wars and fightings, through the opposition of avowed enemies, and the coldness and suspicion of those who claim to be friends. The peace of Christ is not to banish division, but it is to remain amid strife and division. …

“The peace that Christ gave to His disciples, and for which we pray, is the peace that is born of truth, a peace that is not to be quenched because of division. Without may be wars and fightings, jealousies, envies, hatred, strife; but the peace of Christ is not that which the world giveth or taketh away.” Op. Cit., 328

“Sanctification, unity, peace—all are to be ours through the truth. The belief of the truth does not make men gloomy and uncomfortable. If you have peace in Christ, His precious blood is speaking pardon and hope to your soul. Yes, more, you have joy in the Holy Spirit, through accepting the precious promises. Jesus says, ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ John 16:33. Therefore the world shall not overcome you if you believe in Me. It is a world that I have conquered. Because I have overcome, if you believe in Me, you shall overcome. …

“All that Jesus has promised, He will fulfill; and it is greatly dishonoring to Him for us to doubt Him. All His words are spirit and life. Accepted and obeyed, they will give peace and happiness and assurance forever. … Christ declares that He has given us peace; it belongs to us. And He has spoken these things, that in Him we may have that which through infinite sacrifice He had purchased for us—what He holds as ours. This peace we need not seek in the world, for the world has it not to bestow. It is in Christ. He will give it, in spite of the world, notwithstanding its threats and decrees, its alluring, deceiving promises.” Op. Cit., 329

“Mercy and truth have met together;

Righteousness and peace have kissed.”

Psalm 85:10

John R. Pearson is the office manager and a board member of Steps to Life. He may be contacted by email at: