The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11
Strength and peace aren’t often seen together outside the Christian community. Strength is associated with aggressiveness and domination while peace is seen as passive and spineless.
Yet the strength God gives isn’t aggressive. It’s an enabling to do things that we wouldn’t normally be able to do. To hold our tongue when we really want to express our anger, deal with a difficult situation which we would rather avoid, express kindness when usually we would feel apathy. God strengthens us to be people of integrity, wisdom and compassion.
Together with strength, he gives us peace, not to concede defeat but to have an inner calm whatever the situation. Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). God gifts us with peace but it’s reliant on us not allowing our hearts to be troubled. Otherwise, we lose his peace as soon as he gives it to us.
Earlier in the chapter when Jesus also told his disciples not to let their hearts be troubled he added, “You believe in God; believe also in me” (verse 1). Peace comes from trusting God and believing his plans will ultimately work out for good in our lives, even if they’re uncomfortable in the short term. It’s knowing that he will strengthen us to handle whatever we are facing.
Therefore God’s strengthening actually enables us to live in peace because whatever comes, we know we’re able to cope with it.
Strength and peace—two essentials that God freely gives.