Without righteousness, there is no peace. When we get saved, we have peace with God.

Isaiah 32:17-18 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. Before we’re saved, everything is “all about me.” When we’re sanctified and consecrated to God with the Holy Spirit, we have to nourish the root so the fruit of peace can grow. God wants us our peace to grow.

Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Jesus wasn’t offended when people treated him bad because he had the peace in his heart, knowing he was doing God’s will. The peace that people in the world have is very temporary and it depends on their circumstances. They have peace by avoiding or denying trouble or problems, by thinking positive, by doing only what they want to do. The peace of God doesn’t depend on circumstances. We show God’s peace is not like the world’s when we have peace in hard situations.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Our peace will be troubled if we disobey God.

Isaiah 57:20-21 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

We need to let the peace of God rule and act as an umpire that decides our questions.

Colossians 3:15 (Amplified Bible, Classic) And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

If we have a disagreement with someone, we will want to be a peacemaker if we have the peace of God. We won’t have to prove we’re right. Does my behavior on Facebook or Twitter make peace or is it divisive and contentious? The disciples argued about who was the greatest and it didn’t promote peace. Jesus told them the greatest would serve the others (Luke 22:23-26). How long am I willing to put up with hardship? As long as it takes with the peace of God is the right answer. Peace: freedom from conflict or disagreement, mental calm, absence of stress and anxiety. We have to give our stresses to God to keep our peace. He wants to help in hard trials and help us to have victory. God will show where the enemy is.

II Kings 6:8-12 Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. And the king of Israel…warned him…saved himself there…Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled…called his servants, and said…Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None, my lord…but Elisha…telleth the king of Israel…that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.

We’ve all faced situations that looked impossible. God wants us to not fear and know God is with us to fight the enemy. We can rest on God’s promises and have peace in our hard trials. Elisha prayed for God to open his servant’s eyes so he could see God’s protection. We need to trust when fear comes that God will protect us, regardless of the circumstances.

II Kings 6:13-17 And he said, Go and spy where he is…And it was told…he is in Dothan. Therefore sent…a great host…by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen…an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said…my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed…Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man….the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

The enemy was blinded when Elisha prayed. He fed the enemy and sent them home so it caused the fighting to stop.

II Kings 6:18-23…Elisha prayed…Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness…And Elisha said…This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me…But he led them to Samaria…And the Lord opened their eyes, and…they were in the midst of Samaria. And the king of Israel said unto Elisha…My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them? And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them…set bread and water before them, that they may…go to their master…when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away…So the bands of Syria came no more into…Israel.

We can’t treat others evil but must treat them right. If we treat them badly, we have no testimony for Christ.

Romans 12:16-21 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him …give him drink…so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

God puts peace in our hearts when we’re saved and helps us love our enemies. When people despitefully use you, God has victory so we can pray for and genuinely love them. God will come to our rescue and handle the situation.

Matthew 5:44-48…Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father…for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?…And if ye salute your brethren only…do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father…

God wants us to not worry but to cast our cares on him. Paul was determined by what he suffered to be content. He learned to be content in the dungeon (in hunger, no bed, no bathroom, no shower). His situation gave him the opportunity to preach to the guards and all the palace heard about God.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds…

Philippians 4:11-12 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased…how to abound…in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry…suffer need.

Our peace depends on keeping our mind on God and trusting him, not meditating on our troubles.

Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:

God wants peace in the Church of God, not division. When people get issues, they stop being peacemakers and caring about peace in the body. Circumcision didn’t save the Gentiles. God showed Paul to preach to them and not to call them unclean when God cleansed them (Acts 10:9-22). James said the prophets told of the Gentiles being saved if they called on the Lord. James made the decision that the Gentiles were not to eat strangled animals that didn’t have the blood drained.

Acts 15:1-20 And certain men…said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas …should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question…And when they…declared all things that God had done with them. But there rose up certain…saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and…keep the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter…said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God…bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost…purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples …But we believe that through the grace of…Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they…James answered, saying…hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people…And to this agree the words of the prophets…men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called…Wherefore my sentence is…write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols…fornication…things strangled, and from blood.

The blood was to be drained from animals (not eaten). Life was in the blood. God wanted them to see the blood was important.

Leviticus 17:10-13 And whatsoever man…eateth any manner of blood; I will…cut him off…For the life of the flesh is in the blood…it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul…And whatsoever man…catcheth any beast…pour out the blood…

(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)