I have suffered much, but much good has come out of my suffering. And the greatest good of all was that I came to know God instead of just knowing about Him.The lifeless religion that I had grown up with was wonderfully replaced with a living and vibrant relationship with God through Jesus. A relationship which is marked by forgiveness of sins, eternal life, abundant joy and steadfast hope. It is also marked by peace . . . actually two different kinds.
When we come to know God (by repenting of our sins and trusting in Jesus alone for salvation), we have peace with God as Romans 5 explains---Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand (verses 1-2a, NIV).
Through knowing God, we can also experience the peace of God as Philippians 4 tells us---Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (verses 6-7, NIV).
At the start of my cancer journey, I was without peace . . . both kinds. Back then, I was overwhelmingly anxious and full of all kinds of fears. Haunting memories of my mom’s own struggle with cancer raced through my mind daily as I groped in the dark for answers. But soon I came to know God through a relationship with Jesus. Peace with God then became a reality in my life. And since I had peace with God, the indescribable peace of God was also mine when I chose to pray and not worry.
To have peace with God, through Jesus, is to know God. To have the peace of God is to pray (with thanks) instead of worrying. Both kinds of peace are incredible gifts from the God of peace Himself.