What Did Jesus Mean by ‘Peace Be Still’?

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 

And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 

He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 

And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:37-41).

Have you ever been in situations where you had no control over them? By means that you were there just along for the ride? It may not be a ride you would have wanted to be on, but you had to trust that you’d reach your destination.

In life, we cannot avoid being unscathed in situations we cannot control. Fear drives us to take control of every aspect of the situation we are in so that if we fail, then we know that we at least tried.

But what if we were meant to let go of that control in our lives and trust that things will turn out the way they are supposed to be? Jesus was secure in knowing that everyone in the boat would not perish. He spoke “peace” to the storm raging with turbulence and fear.

The Bible says in John 14:27 that “Jesus will give you peace, and not as the world gives.” The Bible also says in Mark 8:35 that “whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Peace Be Still Verse Meaning

According to John Gill, “He arose from off his pillow, and stood up; and in a majestic and authoritative way reproved the wind, as if it was a servant that had exceeded his commission; at which he shows some resentment: as if that which was very tumultuous and boisterous, and threatened with shipwreck and the loss of lives, had raged too much and too long: which was very unusual and extraordinary; for after the wind has ceased, and the storm is over, the waters of the sea being agitated thereby, keep raging, and in a violent motion, for a considerable time; whereas here, as soon as ever the word was spoken, immediately, at once, the wind ceased, and the sea was calmed: a clear proof this, that he must be the most high God, who gathers the winds in his fists, and stills the noise of the seas and their waves.”

In other words, when Jesus rebukes the wind, the wind seems to attempt to resist him. Storms in this particular body of water had taken the lives of many sailors, and the disciples knew it. But Jesus is undaunted. Without a hint of trepidation he tells the waves, “peace, be still.” 

Peace be still reminds us that God has everything under control, even in the most violent of storms.

Our Peace Vs. Jesus’ Peace

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).

This verse details the characteristics God calls us to have. We are to have peace in our hearts in all situations regardless of how easy or difficult. Most of the time, life is not easy. We are born sinners in a dying body (Psalm 51:1), but we have been given life again because of Jesus.

How we define our peace, due to everything that is currently going on in the world today, is solely based upon how we view life. If our focus is always dependent on the world’s views and ours, then we are guaranteed to not have peace.

The world gives us news of peril and sorrow all the time. So, therefore, if the news is what we consume more than once on a daily basis, then we are missing what God has called us to do. That is, God has called us to “let the word of Christ dwell in us” (Colossians 3:16).

It’s up to us really — free will. We either let His Word abide in us or we let everything else consume us of the perfect gift of peace Christ gave us.

So, let’s break this down a bit. We know what peace means in our hearts and in our minds. But what we don’t realize is that we think we know what peace is. This peace we know of can be depicted in our everyday lives.

Day after day, peace is found in every aspect of our lives. We see it, hear it, and feel it. Peace gives us comfort in all circumstances. But are we really truly understanding what peace is? Jesus gives us peace (John 16:33). We don’t necessarily walk every day in His peace.

We have developed our own peace. Sure, we do know that Jesus is our peace…yet again, we don’t truly understand it. We may never understand it well. But maybe it’s time to put away our own definition of peace that has been ingrained in our minds and hearts.

Let’s pray and ask for the peace Jesus has given us. Let’s pray that we give up our own character of peace for His alone.

Power of the Tongue

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21).

The worry train comes around eventually to most of us. Worry creates fear, lies, and negativity. Pessimism is forthcoming as we continue to ride that train of worry. I experience it most of my days, and let me tell you, get off that train.

Your mind learns the patterns of pessimism, and what becomes of it is fruit that’ll keep you living in constant fear. Romans 8:6 says, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Our mind is our flesh.

So, if peace is not included at all then you’ll keep on riding that train. I personally would love to get off this train of negative thoughts, feelings, fears, and lies. This is something that has recently struck a chord in me because if I don’t get off this train, then I’ll never truly have the peace Jesus gives me.

I encourage you, if you struggle as I do, then begin to think good thoughts. Read God’s Words consistently because the enemy will find each and every way to get you to get back in that train.

God has given us self-control, according to 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Let’s use it!

A Closing Prayer

Father, I pray for all of us who are on the worry train. I pray that we get off this train and dive into your Word every day. I pray for everyone whose mind is not at ease to find peace in your Son Jesus. 

Thank you, Lord for giving us life, and mouths to worship you. You, God, are our only source of peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

For further reading:

What Is the Significance of Jesus Calming the Storm?

What Does the Bible Say about the World?

Why Should We Not Be Conformed to This World?

What Is the Peace That Surpasses All Understanding?

What Does it Mean ‘The Spirit Is Willing but the Flesh Is Weak’?

What Does it Mean ‘Be Anxious for Nothing’?

Why Has God Not Given Us the Spirit of Fear?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/kieferpix

Rebecca Mashburn (Gordon) has a wonderful husband named Joseph. She has a blog, Trust. Lean, Seek and is working on becoming what God is calling her to. She has a bachelor’s in psychology and hopes to one day pursue a degree in biblical counseling. Rebecca loves to be in nature, especially in springtime, and she loves to travel. She has a loving family and hopes one day to have children of her own.

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