The Peace of Christ

I have sometimes wondered what Christ meant when He said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, I give to you”.

In Janine Goffar’s “C.S. Lewis Index” there are 6 references to “peace”. Here are two of them:

“Do you not get sudden lucid intervals – islands of profound peace? I do.” (Letter of June 2, 1940)

“Peace may not always be compatible with goodwill; may require justice” (paraphrase of God in the Dock III 7:14)

And this is a translation of a scriptural meditation on peace from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:

“Scripture: “The wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure, then peaceful” (James: 3, 17)


"The peace that comes from spiritual purity is the only one worthy of the name. Peace without purity is only a characteristic of a superficial nature. What a great difference there is between silence on a lake and silence on the sea. In a lake the water is calm because it is protected from storms. A furious sea subsides after a struggle, it calms the raging waves on its mighty expanse, and there is silence.

"The same thing happens with human passions. We see many people who are like the lake; they do not know struggle, they become emotionless in inaction. Looking at people like these quiet waters, we feel that this silence has not cost them anything. They cannot not be calm and peaceful, and their lack of enmity and their all-forgiveness are not worth much. They are not even capable of anger, because they are not capable of strong love.

"But there are natures which are like a great sea. In them peace and silence are the fruit of an ardent and pure love. They forgive offenses not out of indifference, but for the sake of Christ. Realizing the horror of sin, they forgive, because behind this flood they see a rainbow in the sky. Small natures are prepared to forgive, forgetting about the past, but deep pure souls forgive because they have faith in the future.

"My Lord, give me the peace that comes from a pure heart! Teach me to be a peacemaker, to forgive offenses, realizing the possibility that my brother who has offended me will improve.

"Let the darkness of sin be illuminated for me by the dawn of the Sun of Truth.

“Forgiveness becomes easy for the pure of heart, because they see God and an entire eternity opens up in Him. Oh, come and open to me as well, Lord, the springs of your mercy, which are concealed from human eyes, open for me the ray of hope which illuminates the “many rooms” in the house of the Father, help me preserve spiritual purity, which amid the darkness of sin and sorrow will let me see the bright vision of Your glory!”

Does what Lewis says in the second quote, above, and what the Russian author says explain what Christ meant – the peace which comes from fulfilling God’s will rather than just a feeling of calm?


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)