“‘If God be with us, who can be against us?’ I answer, None, so as to deprive us of our inward peace, rest, and quiet. Though, it thunder, and lighten, and rain, and blow abroad, yet a man may be at peace and rest and quiet at home.
A man may have much trouble in the world, and yet rest and quiet in his own spirit: 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,’ No men nor devils, no troubles nor distresses, can deprive a Christian of that inward and blessed peace that Christ hath purchased and paid so dear for.
Peace with God, and peace of conscience, are rare jewels, that none can strip us of. The world may wish you peace, but it is only Christ can give you peace, Rom. 5:1, and 2 Cor. 1:12. The world’s peace is commonly a dear-bought peace; but Christ’s peace is a cheap peace, a free peace. ‘My peace I give unto you.’
The world’s peace is commonly a sinful peace, but Christ’s peace is a holy peace; the world’s peace is a cursed peace, but Christ’s peace is a blessed peace; the world’s peace is but an earthly peace, but Christ’s peace is a heavenly peace, Rom. 14:17; Heb. 12:14, and Ps. 29:11.
Some Christians thought that others could not come to heaven if they did not eat such meats as they; but Paul tells them that the kingdom of God consists not in meat or drink, but ‘in righteousness, and peace, and joy of the Holy Ghost.’
The world’s peace is but an imaginary peace, but Christ’s peace is a real peace. The world’s peace is but a superficial peace, but Christ’s peace is a solid and substantial peace. The world’s peace is but a transient peace, but Christ’s peace is a permanent peace. The world’s peace is but a temporary peace, but Christ’s peace is an eternal peace.
It is a peace that all the world can’t give to a Christian, and it is a peace that all the world can’t take from a Christian, 1 Thes. 5:3; 1 Pet. 3:11; James 3:18; Isa. 9:6, 7; Ps. 37; Isa. 26:3, and 27:5.
When the tyrant threatened one of the ancients that he would ‘take away his house,’ he answered, ‘Yet thou canst not take away my peace.’ ‘I will break up thy school;’ ‘yet shall I keep whole my peace.’ I will ‘confiscate all thy goods;’ ‘yet there is no premunire against my peace.’ ‘I will banish thee thy country:’ ‘yet I shall carry my peace with me.’
All above a believer is at peace; the controversy betwixt God and him is ended. Christ takes up the quarrel betwixt God and a believer. ‘We have peace with God,’ Rom. 5:1. All within a believer is at peace.
A peaceable God makes all at peace. When our peace is made in the court of heaven, which is upon the first act of believing, then follows peace in the court of conscience, ‘peace which passeth all understanding,’ Phil. 4:7.
And all below a believer is at peace with him. He has peace with all the creatures. When we are friends with God, then all the creatures are our friends. ‘The stones of the field shall be at league with thee, the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee,’ &c., Job 5:23.
The peace that Christ gives is the inheritance of saints only. It was all the legacy which the prince of peace left to his subjects, and this legacy none can take from them.
Persecutors may take away my goods, but they cannot take away my peace; they may take away my estate, but they cannot take away my peace; they may take away my liberty, but they cannot take away my peace; they may take away my good name, but they cannot take away my peace; they may take away my relations, but they cannot take away my peace; they may take away my life, but they cannot take away my peace.
I grant that the best have no perfection of peace, because they have no perfection of grace. If there were a perfection of grace, then there might be a perfection of peace; but the perfection of both is reserved for another world; and it must be granted that though sometimes a believer may want the sense of peace, the sweet of peace, yet the grounds of his peace are still fixed, certain, and constant; they are ‘like mount Zion, that cannot be removed.’
Now the grounds of a Christian’s peace are these— an interest in Christ, reconciliation with God, justification, remission of sin, adoption, the covenant of grace and peace.
Now these are always sure and everlasting, though the sense of peace may ebb and flow, rise and fall, in a believer’s heart, especially when he is a-combating with strong corruptions, or high temptations, or under sad desertions, or when unbelief has got the throne, or when their hearts are quarrelsome—for commonly a quarrelsome heart is a troublesome heart, or when they have blotted their evidences for heaven, or when they are fallen from their first love, or when they have contracted eminent guilt upon their souls, or when they are declined in their communion with God.
Now in these cases, though a believer may lose the sense of peace, yet the grounds of his peace remain firm and sure; and though he may lose the sense of his peace, yet in all these sad and dark conditions his soul is day and night in the pursuit of peace, and he will never leave the chase till he has recovered his peace, knowing that God will first or last speak peace to his soul; yea, though he has lost the sense of peace, yet he has that abiding seed of grace in his soul that will in time recover his peace, Ps. 85:8.
Do your enemies threaten to take away this or that from you, you may throw up your caps at them, and bid them do their worst, for they can never take that peace from you that Christ has given as a legacy to you, 1 John 3:9. When there are never so great storms within or without, yet then a believer may find peace in the prince of peace, Isa. 9:6.
When his imperfections are many, a perfect Saviour can keep him in perfect peace in the midst of them all, Isa. 26:3, 4. Though his sacrifices are imperfect, yet Christ a perfect priest can speak peace to his soul, Heb. 7. Peace is that never-fading garland which Christ will so set and settle upon the heads of the upright, that none shall be able to take it off.
A Christian can never lose his inward peace, either totally or finally. It is true by sin, Satan, and the world, a Christian’s peace may be somewhat interrupted, but it can never be finally lost.
The greatest storms in this world that beat upon a believer will in time blow over, and the Sun of righteousness, the prince of peace, will shine as gloriously upon him as ever. Under this word, shalom, the Jews comprehend all peace, prosperity, and happy success.
When the worst of men have done their worst against the people of God, yet the issue shall be peace, prosperity, and happy success. ‘My peace I give unto you;’ that is, that ‘peace with God and peace with conscience that I have purchased with my blood, I give unto you.’
And what power or policy is there that can deprive us of this legacy? Surely none. The peace that Christ gives is bottomed upon His blood, upon His righteousness, upon His satisfaction, upon His intercession, and upon a covenant of peace, and therefore it must needs be a lasting peace, an abiding peace.”
–Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season,” in The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, Volume 5, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1867), 510-512.