Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Peace starts with a mind that is stayed on Christ. He must be the focus. The world is full of distractions that Satan would use to take our focus off Christ. He's really good at getting us distracted! He'll even make things look Christian that aren't, so that we'll think we're focusing on Christ when really the focus is somewhere else. Things like contemplative prayer, spiritual formation, soaking, etc. Christians think, what could be wrong with stuff like that? It's prayer. What could be wrong with prayer? What could be wrong with emptying our minds and feeling God's presence in complete silence? Uhhh.... lots. Namely, the Bible never speaks of such things. But, these are topics for another post.
Psalm 119:165 gives another example of how to have peace. Love God's law. I thought about this for a while. Laws are rules. Rules are laws. Have you ever heard that being a Christian should not be about keeping a bunch of rules, and that those who make it about rules are legalists? I have. Yet, the Bible says peace comes from loving the rules. But, not just loving any rules, loving God's rules. Hmmm.... interesting.
I agree, the Christian life is much more than a list of do's and don't's, but let's be realistic. There ARE rules. People who have a problem with this have a problem with God. Righteousness demands boundaries. Holiness demands separation from wickedness. All this is done by keeping God's law. A.K.A. obeying the rules! I've been trying to be less sarcastic on my blog :P, but I'd just like to say to those Christians who have a problem with rules... Get over it! Seriously, I get so tired of being called a legalist and a Pharisee because I actually have some boundaries in my life. There are things I won't do and don't do. And guess what? That brings me peace. One example: I don't have to worry about waking up in the morning with an extreme headache from being hung over, because I have a "rule" in my life that I won't ever drink alcohol. That's not just a rule I made up either. It's something the Bible commands a Christian. Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
I'd like to say one more thing to those who have a problem with rules. The rules are not the problem. Jesus said If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). We are also told that his commandments are not grievous (I John 5:3; emphasis mine). Nothing about God's commandments are meant to be hard, and if we really love Christ we won't have a problem with them. They are hard for some Christians, because those people are not allowing the Holy Spirit to lead them. It's a heart problem. They haven't submitted and surrendered to God's direction in their lives. Surrender is not a one time thing. The Bible says we are to take up our cross daily and follow Christ (Luke 9:23).
Many Christians want peace, but they don't want to give up their sin. This goes right along with Galatians 5 and the fruits of the Spirit, one of which is peace. Giving up sin often requires some serious soul searching. Many times we've become so comfortable with our sin, that we don't even see it for what it is anymore... sin. Christians can and will sin. We're not perfect yet. There's a real jewel in this verse in Psalm 119 if we're willing to dig deep for it. Loving God's law means obeying God's law. Loving God's law means we'll know what God's law is. How do we know what God's law is? Well, He's given it to us, we just need to read it. Read, read, read, read... over and over. Reading it will develop our love for it, and thus, increase our peace. Reading it will help us remember it, and make it easier to obey it, thus increasing our peace. Searching for peace by emptying your mind, practicing God's presence, or repeating the name of Jesus over and over is not going to work. Psalm 119 is clear. True peace comes from being in the Word. It's so simple!