Question: Regarding 1 Cor 14:33. It seems to me this is a commonly used verse, however, reading it in context makes me question the meaning most people interpret. I think people recite this verse to comfort people like myself, who are in the midst of horrible trials, but in context, it seems to be referring to the order of the church. Which is correct? Thank you for your help.
Response : On 1Cor.14:33, "For [our] God is not [the author] of disorder, but of peace", it is true that this verse is directed primarily to the principle of Church order, as you rightly surmise. However, the principle (namely that God is a God of peace, i.e., completeness, wholeness, and blessed stability) is true in general as well, just as this passage states.
See the link: Peace and reconciliation.
As recipients of the grace of God, we experience God's peace. Peace in the New Testament is the Greek word eirene (from which the name Irene is derived), meaning freedom from strife and care. The New Testament writers, however, never thought of this idea of peace apart from the Hebrew synonym shalom. Shalom means more than just the absence of trouble; it means contentment, happiness, rest, and serenity as well. Shalom, which is used as a friendly greeting in Israel today, means to be complete, lacking nothing.
The wondrous nature of God's peace is indeed something that many Christians are not "tapping into" as they should, for when we do get to the point of seeing Him more clearly than the world that troubles us (by continuing to grow in Him through His Word), then we can have peace even in the midst of the most dire personal tribulations. This is not necessarily an easy thing, not a "Christianity 101" type of thing, but it is an available thing for all those who truly do make Jesus Christ - seeking Him and following Him - the number one priority in their lives. True peace in God comes from knowing Him better and better day by day, from reading, studying and applying the scriptures, praying and focusing on Jesus and His Word rather than on this world. True peace is something all Christians should strive to enter (Heb.4:1-13), and, when we do, this is the closest taste of the promise of eternity to be had this side of eternity.
Important passages to consider:
Col.3:15: "let the peace of Christ rule in your heart"
Is.26:3: "Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose heart is stayed on Thee" ;
Ps.116:7: "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you"
2Thes.3:16: "Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way"
Jn.14:27: "Peace I leave for you; peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you"
Phil.4:7: "The peace of God which passes all understanding will guard hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus"
This is just a small part of what the Bible has to say on this subject (consulting a concordance on the word "peace" will yield much fruit). The main thing I would have you to take away from this is that when we try to take control of our own lives apart from God, we surely do get "disorder" of the type described in 1Cor.14:33. It is only by giving Him control that we move out of the world's natural disorder, and into the orderly peace that Jesus has promised us. To do so requires dedication, faithfulness, persistence, consistency, doing all the things we know to do because the Spirit leads us to them. But when we are indeed following Jesus as we should, not occasionally, but persistently, not lukewarmly, but wholeheartedly, then the only thing we really have to do is to follow where He leads, and peace will come.
In Him who is our peace, now and forevermore, Jesus Christ our Lord.