Colossians 3:15 gives us a great word about peace. “And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.”
Think about four truths we discover in this one verse.
• Real peace comes through the message about Christ.
This thought about peace begins with the words, “And let the peace of the Messiah.” The route to peace is very specific. Jesus spoke about this peace just before His death. He told His disciples, “I have told you these things that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” These things refer to the place called Heaven that He has prepared, the power of prayer that He invites us to, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit that He promised, and the specific plan that He gave us to go to Him. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Then, Jesus modelled that peace on the cross. He said, “Father, not my will, but yours be done.” At His last, He prayed, “Into your hands I commit my spirit.”
You can search for peace through any avenue, but real peace comes through the message about the Messiah, Christ Jesus the Lord.
• Real peace is the calling of the members of the body of Christ.
I find this very interesting in this passage. This verse calls us to an individual peace, but this verse also calls us to a corporate—collective—peace. This is our calling. We are to experience peace, and we can through the message about the Messiah. But, understand that we are called to peace. The church is called to exhibit peace. The church ought to be leading the way in peace. I’m afraid that too often we lead the way in a collective panic. Think about this. If we—people who have faith, people who pray, people who believe that God hears, people who believe that God is the One ultimately in control—if we do not exhibit peace, who can?
People ought to routinely ask us, “Why are you so calm? How do you hold it all together? Why are you not falling apart?
• Real peace controls the mind of the Christian.
The word translated, “control” is a great word. It literally is pulled from the sporting world in that ancient Greek culture. It has the connotation of “umpire” so that we could literally read “Let the peace of Christ be the umpire in your hearts.” Umpires are decisive. You don’t see umpires hesitate. Umpires are confident. Umpires are most necessary when they have to make hard and close calls.
The peace of God should control our minds in that same way.
• Real peace causes thanksgiving that is a mystery to others.
After the imperative of “letting peace control our hearts,” we get the imperative to “Be thankful.” The route to thanksgiving is peace. Our thanksgiving should be the result of the kind of peace that Paul wrote about in Philippians 4:7. “And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought (understanding), will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
If peace is truly activated in our lives, peace will be in control of our hearts.