What do we think of when we hear the words “quiet and peaceable?” I picture quiet mountain meadow, a log fire in a remote cabin or a night laying under the stars. I’m sure that word brings up something different for each of us. But for Paul, it meant something far more meaningful in his message to Timothy… and to us.
1 Tim 2:2(c) … that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
First, let’s note two key words in this verse: quiet and peaceable. Quiet (eremos) means tranquility arising from “without.” Peaceable (hesuchios) means tranquility arising from “within.” If we want to further differentiate these two words for tranquility we need to look no further than to our Lord.
Matt 8:24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.
Jesus could sleep in the middle of a furious storm. How many of us can do that? And furthermore, He could walk in triumph over huge, swirling waves.
Matt 14:25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.
Jesus was never ruled by His circumstances. Let that one sink in for a minute… never! On the other hand, look at Peter. His faith in Jesus led him to step out of the boat and begin walking on the water, but the moment he focused his attention on his circumstances…
Matt 14:30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
Like many of us, Peter had not yet learned that all those things that were over his head and threatened to overwhelm him were already under Jesus’ feet.
We need to remember in these troubled and trying days that Paul’s words to Timothy are watchwords for us. In their day, many Christians were praying for tranquility (peace and quiet) in the midst of the onslaught of Nero’s persecution of the church. Today that same prayer is being lifted up all over the world as our brothers and sisters are being persecuted for their faith. We, on the other hand, so often take our tranquility for granted in the midst of our circumstances, which pale in comparison to the true persecution being committed in the world.
Nevertheless, Paul admonishes us to remember in all circumstances that “peace and quiet” are still fruits of the Spirit for the bride of Christ. The circumstances that seem to be overwhelming us, whatever they are, are no different from the ones facing Peter, and we need to remember that those circumstances are under Jesus’ feet. If we keep our eyes on Him that’s where they will stay and not overcome us.
Think about it. If we keep our eyes on Jesus we will never have to cry out – Lord save me – because we will be standing in faith on His promise that He already has and will continue to save us forever.