God’s Perfect Peace

“The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
—Philippians 4:7

PEACE IS DEFINED AS ‘a state of quiet, tranquillity, freedom from disturbance or agitation; calmness, repose.’

Such a state is a part of God’s character. His is a tranquil mind, calm, undisturbed, never agitated nor even wearied or perplexed by any of the cares of his vast dominion. Yet this perfect peace of God, the Scriptures show, is due neither to the fact that there are no disorders in his far-reaching domain, nor yet to any stoical indifference to pain or pleasure, but rather to that perfect poise of his glorious attributes which makes him master of his situation as Sovereign of the entire universe.

He is never confused, bewildered, perplexed, anxious or careworn, nor in the least fearful that his plans will miscarry or his purposes fail. This is because all power and wisdom are inherent in him. The scope of his mighty intellect reaches to the utmost bounds of possibility, comprehending all causes, and discerning with precision all effects.

Consequently, he knows the end from the beginning, and that, not only from philosophical principles, but also by intuition. As the Creator of all things, and the originator of all law, he is thoroughly acquainted with all the intricate subtleties of physical, moral, and intellectual law, so that no problem could arise the results of which are not manifest to his mind. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”—I John 1:5

God, the Creator of all things, is also the competent sustainer of all things. In silent grandeur, from age to age, the whole physical universe fulfills his will, without a suspicion of disorder or mishap; and the same power is pledged for its sustenance throughout the eternal future.

Thus from his own vast, inherent resources of power and wisdom springs the peace of God. But not from this source alone is the Divine peace; for peace accompanies inherent goodness. God is the personification of every virtue and every grace; and consequently he has the blessed satisfaction and peace of conscious moral perfection as well as inherent wisdom and power.


God as a Father shows us that he bears a father’s love for all his intelligent creatures:—“the whole family [of God] in heaven and in earth”—and that for his “pleasure they are and were created.” (Eph. 3:15; Rev. 4:11) He created them in his own likeness—with the same mental and moral attributes, so that he might have communion and fellowship with them as sons, and they with him as a Father, that thus, in mutual fellowship and communion the Creator and the creature might find pleasure, happiness, and delight.

This likeness of God includes in all, not only the same mental faculties, but also the free exercise of the same in the formation of character. A creature incapable of forming character would not be in God’s likeness. And for the purpose of developing character, the alternative of good and evil must be placed before him. The right and wrong principles of action must be discerned and the individual left freely to his own choice in the matter, that the pleasure of God may be realized in the virtuous character resultant from the free choice of righteousness.

Since the love of God for his newly created and innocent creatures is akin to, but much stronger than, the love of an earthly parent for an innocent infant, and since that loving interest and solicitude does not grow cold as the creature advances in years, but earnestly watches for the development of the principles and fruits of righteousness, it is manifest that, like an earthly parent, God experiences the sense of either pleasure or pain, according as his free, intelligent creatures choose the right course or the wrong.

Of this we are fully assured, not only by thus reasoning from the fact of his Fatherhood, but also by all of those scriptures which speak of some things as abominable, displeasing, hateful, and despicable to him, and as giving him no pleasure; which say that his anger burns against them, and that his indignation and wrath wax hot, even to their destruction. Other scriptures speak of his pleasure, love, joy, and delight in pleasing things—in the principles of righteousness and those who obey them—the appreciation of pleasurable emotions of an opposite character, for pain and pleasure may properly be considered the ebb and flow of the same emotion.

These exhibitions of the mind of God indicate clearly an emotional nature in the Divine being, of which fact we might also judge from the realization of our own emotional nature, since man was created in God’s image. No, dear friends, God is not a God of stoical indifference, insensible to the emotions of pleasure and of pain; but the perfect poise of his attributes preserves the equilibrium of peace under all circumstances, whether of pain or pleasure.


With this thought in mind, then, let us consider the circumstances under which the marvelous peace of God has been perpetually maintained. The deeply laid plan of God in all his Creative works required long ages (Greek: aions) for its accomplishment. Across the vista of ages he saw in his purpose the glory of an intelligent creation in his own likeness, established in righteousness and worthy of his gift of eternal life. He therein saw the mutual pleasure of the Creator and the creature, and with a peaceful patience he resolved to wait for the glorious consummation.

As the plan developed and time rolled on, the free moral agency of his creatures, misused by some, was allowing them to develop evil characters. By this means, discord was introduced into his family—“the family [of God] in heaven and in earth”—all his creatures, angels and men; and the family was divided, some holding to righteousness, and some choosing to do evil. But such a contingency was one of the foreseen necessities of the far-reaching plan, the glorious outcome of which was, in the Divine judgment, worth the cost of all the trouble and loss which he foresaw.

Family discord is a dreadful thing! How a prodigal son or a wayward daughter often brings gray hairs of the human parent down with sorrow to the grave! The Heavenly Father knows something of such sorrow; for he saw Satan, one of his sons (Isa. 14:12), an angel of light, fall as lightning from heaven. (Luke 10:18) For six thousand years, at least, that son has been in open, defiant rebellion against God, and most actively and viciously engaged in inciting further rebellion and wickedness. He saw many of the angels leave their first estate (Jude 6) and become the allies of Satan; and then he saw also the whole human race fall into sin. Did ever any human parent find such a conspiracy—so virulent and hateful—spring up in his family? Surely not!

Consider the love against which these unfaithful ones sinned. From God comes every good and perfect gift; but his favors have been despised; his love spurned; his righteous authority conspired against and defied; his character maligned, misrepresented, made to appear odious, hateful, unrighteous, and even despicable! Through it all the peace of God continues despite the approximately six thousand years that he has endured the discord of sinners. And still, O wondrous grace, his love abounds. It is written that God so loved the world that, even while they were yet sinners, he gave his only begotten Son to die for them. Through Jesus, judgment (trial) is also to be extended to those angels that fell—with the exception of Satan, the leader and instigator of the whole conspiracy, the father of lies.—John 3:16; I Cor. 6:3; Jude 6; Heb. 2:14; Rev. 20:10,14


God beheld the fall into sin of a large proportion of his family. Their recovery required the sacrifice of the dearest treasure of his heart—the subjection of his beloved Son to the most abject humiliation, ignominy, suffering, and death. Again, the illustration of a parent’s love assists us in comprehending the cost of this manifestation of God’s love. In addition to all the graces of character manifested since Jesus’ prehuman existence as the Logos, he was now adding the further grace of full submission to the Divine will, even when the pathway led to humiliation and pain.

Did the Father let him go on that errand of mercy without the slightest sensation of sorrowful emotion? Had he no feelings of the pangs of a father’s love when the arrows of death pierced the heart of his beloved Son? When our dear Lord said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,” and, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt,” did it touch no sympathetic chord in the heart of the Eternal One? Yes, the unfeigned love of the Father did sympathetically share the Lord’s sorrow.—Matt. 26:38,39

The principle taught in the Divine Word—that true love weeps with those who weep, and rejoices with those who rejoice—is one which is also exemplified in the Divine character. The immortal Jehovah could not himself die for us, his Divine nature being proof against death. And even if he could have died, there would have been no higher power to raise him out of death. Thus, all Creation would have been left forever without a Governor, and only disaster and ruin could have ensued. But God could, and did, sacrifice at great cost to his loving, fatherly nature, the dearest treasure of his heart. Thus he manifested the great love wherewith he loved his deceived and fallen creatures.—I John 4:9

Our Lord Jesus also manifested his great sympathy for the Father in the misrepresentation of his character which he had so patiently endured for ages. It was the one effort of his life to glorify the Father and to rectify among men the false impressions of his Father’s glorious character. His aim was to show men God’s goodness, benevolence, love and grace, and to lead mankind to love the merciful God who, even while they were yet sinners, so loved them to such an extent that he planned for their eternal salvation.


There has been great commotion in the disrupted family of God—wickedness in which the Lord declares he has no pleasure. (Ps. 5:4) Nevertheless the peace of God has never been disturbed. In the full consciousness of his own moral perfection, his unerring wisdom, his mighty power; and with the fullest appreciation of justice; and the keenest and most ardent love of the beauty of holiness; patiently and peacefully—even joyfully in the midst of tribulation—he has endured (as did his Son—Heb. 12:2,3) the “contradiction of sinners against himself,” for some six thousand years.

But, during the seventh millennium, according to the Divine purpose, it will be the joyful privilege of our Lord Jesus fully to manifest to all creatures in heaven and in earth the Father’s glorious character. Then will the Father rejoice in the grandeur of his finished work, and in the everlasting peace and happiness of his family in heaven and on earth, reunited “under one Head.”—Eph. 1:10, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

This blessed consummation will not be realized, however, until the incorrigible fallen sons of God, disowned and disinherited because they love unrighteousness and would not be reclaimed, shall have been cut off. This will be the last unpleasant duty of the Creator and Father of all, who positively declares that it is a sad duty, yet nevertheless one which he will have the fortitude to perform in the interest of universal righteousness and peace. Hear him: “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?”—Ezek. 33:11

Thus we see that the peace of God is compatible with great commotion and with sorrow and pain of any kind; for it is not dependent upon outward circumstances, but upon the proper balancing of the mind and the conditions of a perfect heart. Such peace—the peace of God—was also enjoyed by our Lord Jesus in the midst of all the turmoil and confusion of his eventful life.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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