The word translated peace in the Old Testament comes from the Hebrew word shalom. Shalom is a complete peace. Shalom means to be complete, perfect and full. Shalom is a feeling of contentment, wholeness, well being and harmony. Shalom also carries with it the meaning of health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity and rest.
The priestly benediction from (Numb. 6:24-26) reads:
“The LORD bless you
and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”
I think this experience of shalom, of being whole and complete and at peace within ourselves, goes beyond what we can do for ourselves, and is in fact a gift.
In the New Testament (John 14:27) Jesus gives this benediction of peace to his disciples. “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.”
What is interesting about Jesus was that there was a complete sense of peace about him even when he was in the midst of turmoil and conflict. It was his inner peace that defined him more than anything else. I think this is what it means to be whole.