When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7).
We all desire more peace in our lives. After all, who wants daily doses of drama, discord, and discontentment? Additionally, no one wants enemies much less the adversarial noise they bring.
As Christians, we can expect a certain amount of animosity and turmoil from unbelievers and the sinful world system. Jesus said the world would hate us (John 15:19) and that we would experience tribulation while here on earth (John 16:33). As a matter of fact, Peter counselled us to expect it, not be surprised by it (1 Peter 4:12). Unfortunately, even other believers may attack us.
That said, the Bible says when a person’s ways please God, He enables peace with his enemies. Someway, supernaturally, God protectively interacts with those who intimately follow Him, obey His Word, and incorporate His moral standard into every aspect of their lifestyles, conduct, mindsets, behaviors, and choices.
Two universal enemies are sin and death. However, each person also has a more intrinsic enemy that appears in various forms—self-identity, self-image, and self-worth.
A primary enemy is sin. Since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, sinful nature became the norm for every human being (Romans 3:10-11). And, as a result of that sin, spiritual hostility exists between us and holy God (Romans 3:23). However, “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Through reliant faith in Christ’s death on the Cross, our sin-debt is cancelled, a righteous nature is granted, and we enjoy restored peace with God.
Although the sin nature continues to influence, it should no longer control. Through Christ’s resurrected life and the Holy Spirit living within, we have the power to reject sin. Should we slip and fall into sin, we lose intimate fellowship with God until we confess and repent. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). However, as redeemed and regenerated children of God, we do not lose our peace with Him.
Since the first man, Adam, death has become a part of the human experience. Everyone eventually dies. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Only those believers who remain alive when Jesus returns to take them to heaven may not face death. Yet, even that transition remains a mystery. Until then, death lingers as an enemy of life.
However, believers do not need to fear death. It is but a shift from the earthly realm into the heavenly realm. To be absent from the body is to be immediately and forever present with Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:8). Even so, the final enemy, Death, will receive its just reward in the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his demon horde (Revelation 20:14). In the new world, where God will reign supreme, there will no longer be any death, sorrow, or pain. Those who are with God will forever be at peace with this ultimate enemy.
Self-Identity & Self-Image
When our ways please God, we have inner peace. When we walk according to His moral standard and His Word, we gain inner acceptance, confidence, and contentment. No longer burdened by sin’s guilt, shame, and counterfeit serenity, we experience inner quietness, confidence, and strength (Isaiah 30:15).
We have the power to lay any inner conflict at the foot of the Cross. Instead of listening to Satan’s whispered accusations or accepting other people’s expectations of not being good enough, valuable enough, or simply enough, may we derive our identity and worth from God alone. Following and serving Him makes that inner conflict cease. We experience His peace. We thrive in His acceptance. We live in His contentment. We are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10)—accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6).
In this life, adverse circumstances and situations will always attack our peace. Interpersonal conflicts, irreconcilable differences, sinful human nature, living in a sinful world, and adversity that arises from our faith all threaten calm, peaceful mindsets.
Thankfully, Jesus promised, “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” (John 14:27). Through it all, we can rest peacefully assured knowing God sovereignly orchestrates everything to transform us to Christlikeness (Galatians 4:19).
The secret to peace is to please God in all our ways. So, walk in His ways and rest in His peace today.