How do you let the peace of God rule in your heart? Ask the Spirit to reveal the worldly ways you seek peace, then repent and redirect your focus to the eternal promises of God. This is simple, but it takes work. Keep reading to understand the reality of anxiety today and how to let the peace of God rule in your heart practically.
The Reality of Anxiety and the Promise of Peace
God promises us the gift of peace. This is one of the most treasured gifts we can receive in today’s culture. A study by Barna found that before the pandemic, “U.S. adults and practicing Christians alike noted anxiety and depression as the most commonly faced challenges to relational satisfaction, with 40 percent of all U.S. adults and 34 percent of practicing Christians saying this is true.”
Barna’s report reveals that many believers struggle to let the peace of God rule in their hearts. This statement is not to condemn but to explore what stands in the way of receiving the gift of peace that God freely gives through Jesus Christ.
Worry and Anxiety in the Last Days
People today are consumed with worry and fear. Jesus said in the last days:
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26).
Jesus’ statement can leave us fearful if we don’t keep reading to discover His promise of coming redemption. He acknowledges the reality of anxiety in the last days. He follows up with a great promise that reveals the antidote to anxiety for believers:
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).
When the world is distressed and filled with perplexity, it is a sign of His imminent return!
Jesus Promises Peace
In John 14, Jesus says He is going away but will return. He promises the Holy Spirit and the gift of peace. He says:
“Peace I leave with you, 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).
The world’s peace is fragile and circumstantial. It is only received through a changed situation or the satisfaction of a fleshly desire. However, Jesus’ peace abides within you and transcends circumstances. When you let the peace of God rule in your heart, you go through life’s most challenging moments and have confidence that God is working behind the scenes for something better.
God's peace releases hope and assurance for what is permanent, guaranteed, and eternal (see Hebrews 6:18-19).
What Is the Meaning of Colossians 3:15?
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”—Colossians 3:15
Paul instructs, “Let the peace of God rule in your heart.” Peace is part of the fruit of the Spirit and God’s armor. The word peace in Greek is eirēnēn and implies the “welfare of a person.” In Hebrew, shalom is translated as peace. It means “wholeness, nothing lacking, nothing broken, restored, and complete.”
The word rule in Greek is brabeuetō, which means “to act as an umpire or arbitrate.” The peace, or wholeness, received from Christ is described as “assurance a believer is living in God’s preferred will.”
The takeaway from Colossians 3:15 is this:
Jesus made you a new creation. In Him, you are restored and whole. Let this truth umpire or referee your mind, will, and emotions. Make a daily decision to allow God’s Spirit, not your emotions, to call the shots in your life. When fear, anxiety, and worry want to control your mind, put on the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Bring any thought that exalts itself higher than the promises of God into captivity and make them obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)
7 Bible Verses to Instruct Us in the Peace of God
If God’s kingdom is a kingdom of peace, then Satan’s kingdom is a kingdom of fear. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy your gift of peace. The Bible instructs how to let the peace of God rule in your heart.
1. Guard the peace in your heart.
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”—Proverbs 4:23
2. Live for the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of Satan.
“… for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”—Romans 14:17
3. Trust and believe in the hope God gives you.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”—Romans 15:13
4. Don’t focus on worldly peace; rejoice because Jesus gives you greater peace.
“‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’”—John 16:33
5. Get into the Word and let it get into you.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”—Colossians 3:16
6. Understand you have access to the thoughts of Christ, so let Him instruct you.
“For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”—1 Corinthians 2:16
7. Let God’s peace correct and cleanse you.
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”—1 Thessalonians 5:23
How to Let the Peace of God Rule in Your Heart
Submit to Jesus as Lord and Savior.
The Bible says to let the peace of God rule in your heart. To do that, Jesus must be the ruler in your life. What areas in your life are not ruled by Jesus? He is to sit on the throne of your home and heart. The areas He isn’t ruling over will be ruled by the flesh and targeted by the enemy. This leads to fear and anxiety.
Ask Jesus to reveal the areas in your life that are not under the subject of His lordship. Look up James 4:7-8. Confess and submit those areas to Him.
Pray when you are anxious.
Often, the last thing we do when we are anxious is pray. The Bible tells us to be anxious for nothing but instead pray about everything. From this, we know that as believers in Jesus, there is no legitimate reason to be anxious. Yet we need the Holy Spirit to remind us of this truth when our circumstances say otherwise.
Put on the belt of truth, get into God’s Word, and read His promises. Philippians 4:19 says He promises to supply our every need. Second Peter 1:3 tells us His divine power gives us everything we need for life and godliness. Ephesians 1:3 says we are blessed with every spiritual blessing. Notice the words every and everything. God does not give us part of the blessing of peace but makes it all available to us.
Keep your mind on God and trust He is in control.
Keeping your mind in perfect peace involves trusting that God is in control (Isaiah 26:3). The times we live in are His times. He is not surprised by any of it. We know this because He prophesied it in His Word. Great promises follow the trials and tribulations described in the Word. In difficult times, being surrounded by biblical community, worshiping together, and studying His Word keeps your mind on the things above.
Ask Jesus to reveal ways to surround yourself with things above so you will stay in perfect peace. Look up Colossians 3:2-4. Record a promise that gives you peace of mind.
Practice, pursue, and be prepared.
Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruits of the Spirit, and peace is included. We must walk in the Spirit, practicing peace alongside the other fruits. Hebrews 12:14 encourages us to pursue peace. The Greek word for pursue is diōkete, which means to “earnestly and aggressively, chasing down like a hunter.” The peace of God is something to chase after earnestly, not just wait for it to overtake your mind. In Ephesians 6:15, Paul describes the footwear of your armor of God as “the preparation of the gospel of peace.” The Greek word for preparation is etoimasia, carrying the idea of “readiness to march into battle.”
In times of trials and tribulations, you must hold fast to God’s promises in Jesus and let the peace of God rule in your heart. As stated earlier, the enemy will seek to steal, kill, and destroy your peace. Hardships allow you to practice peace. They train you to trust God and strengthen your faith. Don’t let anxiety rule your thoughts; instead, know that the enemy is after your peace but that you can stand firm in the confidence that Jesus already won the battle for you!
Anxious thoughts plague the minds of many believers today. But Jesus promises peace to those who belong to Him. You let the peace of God rule in your heart by first submitting to Jesus as Lord. Ask Him to show you the worldly ways you seek peace. Repent and redirect your focus to the eternal promises of God.
Wherever He is not ruling in your life, there will be evidence of anxiety, frustration, anger, and bitterness. Start focusing on His promises and ask God to shift your mind from earthly to heavenly things. Surround yourself with people who can speak truth to and encourage you. Get into His Word and practice peace in trying times by recalling and believing God’s Word over your circumstances.
God’s Word has much to say about who you are and what you are given in Him. Stand firm against the enemy by better understanding your identity in Jesus. Discover more here.