Updated: Nov 12, 2020
The hymn "Peace, Perfect Peace" was written by Edward H. Bickersteth in August of 1875 after hearing a sermon from the Vicar of Harrogate, Canon Gibbon. The lesson was based on the text from Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You". Bickersteth was so moved by the message that he immediately went home and penned the poem we now recognize as the hymn. The music was written specifically for this poem by George Caldbeck in 1877.
Something interesting about the poem/hymn that I had never noticed before today is that the first line of each stanza is a question, and the second line is the answer, clearly stating where peace can be found- in Jesus.
Friends, our peace is in Jesus alone. He is the source of the peace. He is the vehicle for the peace. He IS the peace. Only in Him can we truly find...peace.
The following lines are the text of the original poem. All the lines are still the same today without any changes or alterations. This message of peace, written 145 years ago, has clearly stood the test of time and could not be any more appropriate than it is today.
Peace, perfect peace- in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
Peace, perfect peace- by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus- this is rest.
Peace, perfect peace- with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus' bosom naught but calm is found.
Peace, perfect peace- with loved ones far away?
In Jesus' keeping we are safe, and they.
Peace, perfect peace- our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.
To know the love of Jesus- this is peace.
May the grace of God be with you all.
**Source material- "101 Hymn Stories" by Kenneth W. Osbeck
Sunset at Kohanaiki Beach- Kona, HI