Why is Peace so Hard to Come By?

Sunday Scripture

One minute you’ve lit a candle, settled yourself into your favorite chair, and invited the Spirit to settle your heart. Beginning the day in peace and trust, you’ve made promises to yourself and to God about how the coming day will be. Then, life arrives with a roar, and suddenly you are Wile E. Coyote trying to blow out the fuse on a stick of dynamite, lit by your own hand.

Why is peace so hard to come by?

In this Lenten season, we’re pondering the gift of Jesus’s sacrifice, and in doing so, preparing ourselves for a true celebration of resurrection on Easter Sunday. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul chooses to focus on the gift of peace that comes as we are “brought near by the blood of Christ”:

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.”

(Ephesians 2:13, 14)

Paul is describing a two-fold peace in these verses and in those that follow. Peace with God comes as we are reconciled to him, and what follows is (or should be) peace with others as we are brought together in our shared need for grace, forgiveness, and understanding.

Jesus is Our Peace

What Paul describes (“he IS our peace”) seems to be more intimate than simply extending peace as a commodity, separate from himself.  Jesus’s act of becoming our peace comes at great sacrifice, and the text describes it in two different ways: “by the blood of Christ” and “through the cross.”  It is no small thing, then, that we are able to receive forgiveness and then to extend it to others; that we have been reconciled to God and can, therefore, be reconciled to those who have wronged us; that we have been welcomed into God’s family so that we can throw down the welcome mat for those outside our safe in- group.

  • What “dividing walls of hostility” is God bringing to your attention today?
  • What peace-loving actions do you sense God leading you to initiate as a response to his peaceful presence in your life?
  • How can I pray for you as you seek to live your way into the truth that Jesus is our peace?

Because He is our peace,

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Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash

58 thoughts on “Why is Peace so Hard to Come By?”

  1. So very grateful He is our peace and by Him we are kept in peace and can make peace with those around us. Michele, may God be with you and yours, keeping each of you protected. Blessings!

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  2. Thank You for your devotion during this time of uneasiness. The joke is on me, I thought for lent I was giving up some items I no longer needed. Little did I know I would be going on week three couped up in my house with my kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but it is a bit much at times. Trying to la.y my burden on Jesus today and find peace.

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  3. Such great words to lean on especially in this time. A sacrifice that would be hard for anyone to make or would they even, but He did for each of us. Awesome reminder scripture as we head into Easter. Stay well.

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  4. Although we haven’t yet heard news of the virus in our immediate area, our state has told citizens to stay home as much as possible. I’m one of those essential infrastructure workers, so my life has changed very little (aside from new distancing requirements at work and the fact that our churches are not open). I pay attention to the reporting and listen to the worries of others, but my mood hasn’t changed. God is always in control. I know I can trust Him for the outcome. Peace is a great gift.

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    1. Yes, we are all being told to stay home as much as we can, and since I’m usually at home, my life is pretty “normal” as well. I do think, though, that discomfort and mental disarray is contagious, so we’re begin affected by the people around us who are out of sorts. So much change to absorb right now!

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  5. I had to laugh at your comparison of us to Wile E. Coyote. So true! My dear daughter-in-law sent me a link to a meditation site, which suggests sitting outside for 5 minutes (or more) first thing in the morning and again at night and relaxing into God. I have been doing that for the past few days and am amazed at the amount of peace it brings all day long.

    I love the mental image of Christ becoming our peace.

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    1. Outdoor time has been saving my life this spring. And yes, that particular wording spoke to me as well. It’s not just something he hands over and then goes about his business. He, himself, is with us and He is our peace.

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  6. Beautiful challenge to us all, Michele! I think the idea of a “wall of hostility” might be a strong word for what God is bringing to my mind. But I’d say I have nursed some disappointments in a particular relationship. I know in time those things can grow and build to be a wall of hostility. So this is a great reminder to take those down with the help and peace of God! Pinning this, my friend!

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  7. Michele, can you please pray for me. I am struggling and it feels if my peace is interrupted most days lately. Being pregnant and due in May during such a time of uncertainty, maintaining sobriety, having all my volunteer work cancelled, trying to finish our house, and having a strong willed toddler is weighing on me. I’d like some comforting scripture to read too if you could provide me with some. Thank you so much. Stay safe. Xoxo

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    1. Cheryl, I’m so glad you reached out. I’d be happy to pray with you. We have a daughter-in-law who is also expecting a baby soon, and so your anxiety is close to home. The psalms are good for inspiring peace and I recommend Psalms 46 and 91 particularly because they are the words I’m turning to myself these days. I will be praying for you as you wait for your baby, as you trust for sobriety, and as you mother that strong willed toddler.
      Blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love that Christ doesn’t just give peace, but He is our peace. When I look at the measures He has taken for our peace, I have no right to set up barriers to peace with others.

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  9. In all honestly, although I believe in God, I’m not hugely religious.
    But, I lost a close friend a few weeks ago and I find piece in thinking he’s no longer in pain and with God.
    #globalblogging

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  10. Michele, I love the sweetness of the words you share. Peace feels elusive some days, like Wile E Coyote chasing after Roadrunner. But, sometimes peace is as close as my next prayer if I’ll stop and take time to pray. 🙂

    I am working to get outside my own head and see ways I can encourage others. I have a number of friends going through hard, hard seasons right now. I aim to send them cards in the next couple of weeks, especially since I can’t invite them out to coffee right now. 🙂

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    1. I hear you. The hard parts of life don’t go away just because we’re all in a sort of ruffled state. Maybe we’ll rediscover the beauty of handwritten notes and extra long phone calls in this season?

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  11. Michele, your post echoes the passage I read this morning In John 14.
    .”Peace I leave with you. MY PEACE I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
    Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”…
    “Jesus’s act of becoming our peace” still lay ahead of Him at this point but He so tenderly prepared His disciples for His leaving… so they would know this peace–in every circumstance based on the peace with God He bought on the Cross. Thanks for spurring on my reflections on this peace today. שלום to you and yours!

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    1. Those chapters preceding the crucifixion in John’s Gospel are the most incredible pouring out of selfless love I can even imagine. I know myself: very much inside my own head even under the best of circumstances. And Jesus, knowingly facing the most horrible torture possible, was totally focused on preparing his people for THEIR upcoming ordeal. Amazing!
      And thanks for that little dash of Hebrew!

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  12. That He is our peace is something I cling to! Thank you for the sweet reminder today of the cost Christ paid to be our peace. I’d love prayer as we are in a season of job change and moving in the midst of this pandemic!

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  13. Michele, I have been reminded, over the past few weeks, that peace is never found on FOX News! I finally just had to tell myself, “We’re turning this stuff off!” I’ll allow myself to watch the news once a day, just so I can keep up with what’s happening around us, but no more. I’ve had to saturate my mind with Scripture and cry out to God in prayer to find the peace my soul so longs for in this life! Thank you for these encouraging thoughts!

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

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    1. Yes, I had to silence a news update this morning. The truth we need is found between those leather covers, and I’m hoping to put these days of being out of my usual routine to good use.

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  14. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Pleas stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

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