A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones
– Proverbs 14:30 (NIV)
Peace can be difficult to comprehend in a life coloured with war, hatred, and senseless violence. In a world so consumed with selfishness and justifications, phrases like inner peace and world peace seem to have lost all meaning and become nothing more than mere catch phrases. But the peace that comes from knowing God is so much more attainable than anything the world has to offer, or give lip service to.
That said; peace does not descend on us like a happy cloud of obliviousness just because we know God. Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 10:34 (NIV):
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
This life is not meant to be free from struggles and pain. It is meant to test us and our faithfulness to God, in spite of the struggles and pain that we will inevitably face. But we are, thankfully, not left to make it through alone. When Jesus left the earth he said,
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”
– John 14: 26-27 (NIV)
What a comforting thought that is. Paul reminds us of this inherent peace we have with Christ and he explains it further to us in Romans 5:1-5 (NIV):
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
That really says it all and just reading that fills me with such peace and hope. It is almost a shame to continue on from that with my associated essential oil. For me, the woody and sweet smell of Frankincense is the most peaceful fragrance. And it seems so appropriate that it is one of the gifts attributed to the Magi when they sought him out at birth:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And h will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
– Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)