WE LIVE in a stressful world, so it can be difficult to find peace. Even when we have some peace, we can easily lose it. What does the Bible say that can help us to find true and lasting peace? And how can we help others to do so?
WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO?
In order to find real peace, we need to feel safe and protected. We need to have good friends, and most important, we need to draw close to God. How can we do that?
Jehovah’s commands and principles are always good for us. When we obey them, we show that we trust in Jehovah and want to have a peaceful relationship with him. (Jeremiah 17:7, 8; James 2:22, 23) Then Jehovah will draw close to us and give us peace of mind. Isaiah 32:17 says: “The result of true righteousness will be peace, and the fruitage of true righteousness will be lasting tranquillity and security.” We can find real peace when we obey Jehovah willingly.—Isaiah 48:18, 19.
Jehovah has also given us a precious gift to help us develop lasting peace. This gift is his holy spirit.—Acts 9:31.
GOD’S SPIRIT HELPS US DEVELOP PEACE
The apostle Paul said that peace is part of “the fruitage of the spirit.” (Galatians 5:22, 23) Since God’s spirit produces peace, we need to allow holy spirit to guide us if we want peace. How can we do this?
First, we need to read God’s Word regularly. (Psalm 1:2, 3) As we think deeply about what we read, holy spirit helps us to understand what Jehovah thinks about various subjects. For example, we learn how he maintains his peace and why peace is so important to him. When we apply what we learn from the Bible, we will have more peace in our lives.—Proverbs 3:1, 2.
Second, we must pray for God’s holy spirit. (Luke 11:13) Jehovah promises those who ask for his help: “The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7) When we stay close to Jehovah and rely on his spirit, he will give us real peace of mind.—Romans 15:13.
The Bible has helped many people make changes in their lives, and now they enjoy peace with Jehovah, peace of mind, and peace with others. How have they made these changes?
HOW SOME FOUND TRUE PEACE
Before coming into the truth, some of our brothers and sisters were angry and even violent. But they worked hard to change, and now they are more kind, patient, and peaceable with others.* (See footnote.) (Proverbs 29:22) See how a brother named David and a sister named Rachel made such changes in their personalities.
Before David came into the truth, he was often critical of others and spoke to his family in a harsh way. But then he realized that he needed to change. How did he find peace? David says, “I began applying Bible principles in my life, and as a result, the respect between me and my family grew.”
Rachel was affected by the environment she grew up in. She explains, “Even now, I struggle with feelings of anger because I was brought up in an angry household.” What helped Rachel to find peace? She says, “Prayerful reliance on Jehovah.”
David and Rachel are just two examples of people who now have peace because they applied Bible principles and relied on holy spirit. Even though we live in an angry world, we can still have peace of mind. This will make it easier to get along with our family members and our brothers and sisters in the congregation. But Jehovah tells us to “be peaceable with all men.” (Romans 12:18) Is that really possible? And why should we try to have peace with others?
WORK TO HAVE PEACE WITH OTHERS
In our field ministry, we preach a peaceful message about God’s Kingdom. (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Matthew 24:14) Many like this message and accept it. As a result, they no longer feel helpless or angry because of what is going on in the world. They now have real hope for the future, and this makes them want to “seek peace.”—Psalm 34:14.
Still, not everyone likes our message, at least not at first. (John 3:19) No matter how people react, God gives us his spirit. It helps us to remain peaceful and respectful when we preach. In this way, we follow Jesus’ advice: “When you enter the house, greet the household. If the house is deserving, let the peace you wish it come upon it; but if it is not deserving, let the peace from you return upon you.” (Matthew 10:11-13) When we have this attitude, we can remain peaceful no matter what others say or do. And we remember that we may still have the chance to help those people in the future.
We also promote peace by being respectful when we speak with government officials, even if they oppose our work. For example, in one African country, the government would not allow us to build Kingdom Halls. Our brothers knew that they should try to solve this problem in a peaceful way. They sent a brother who had once been a missionary in that country to see the High Commissioner in London, England, and tell him about the peaceful work that Jehovah’s Witnesses do.
The brother said: “When I arrived at the reception desk, I concluded by the receptionist’s manner of dress that she belonged to a tribe whose language I had learned. So I greeted her in her own tongue. Taken by surprise, she asked me, ‘What is the reason for your visit?’ I politely told her that I wished to see the High Commissioner. She telephoned the official, who came out to meet me and greeted me in the local language. After that, he carefully listened to me as I explained to him the peaceful activities of the Witnesses.”
After the High Commissioner heard what the brother said, he understood our work better and he was not as prejudiced as before. A while later, that government changed its decision and allowed Jehovah’s Witnesses to build Kingdom Halls. The brothers were so happy! Clearly, when we treat others with respect, we promote peace.
ENJOY PEACE FOREVER
Today, Jehovah’s people enjoy a spiritual paradise, as they worship him in a peaceful environment. Each of us can add to this peace by working to develop peace in our own life. Then we can be sure that Jehovah is pleased with us. And in his new world, he will give us peace that lasts forever.—2 Peter 3:13, 14.
We will discuss kindness in a future article in this series on the fruitage of God’s holy spirit.