Although we all have seasons of uncertainty, fear, or insecurity, this year has increased the level of intensity for many people. It is easy to get lost in the storm of life, feeling overwhelmed and alone.
In times such as this, powerful worship to our Father can bring peace and restore faith in His promises. “Peace Be Still,” written by Hope Darst, Andrew Holt, and Mia Fieldes, is a declaration of trust that can bring great healing.
When Darst first began writing the song, she was personally coming from a place of anxiety. Darst shares, “We wrote ‘Peace Be Still’ back in a season when I was really struggling with fear, anxiety, and insecurity. One of the co-writers, Mia Fieldes, came into the writing room the day we wrote this song, feeling like a situation in her life was falling apart. As a result, she was fighting an all too familiar feeling of disappointment. She said she needed to write a song about peace to combat what she was feeling that day.
“Her vulnerability opened the door for me to share the anxiety and fear I was feeling in that same season. Neither of us felt peaceful that day, but we knew God promises us peace. So we chose to prophetically sing God’s promise of peace over our lives, our hearts, and our minds that day.”
This personal relationship with her co-writers made creating the song a truly collaborative process. “I wrote the song with Mia Fieldes and Andrew Holt. Andrew is the worship pastor at our local church, The Belonging Co., where Mia and I both serve on the worship team. We’ve been leading worship together for years, so when we write together, we don’t have to explain what our goal is. We already desire the same things for the same reasons, which makes the writing process a lot easier for me personally. It removes the pressure to ‘understand’ each other, and instead we really tap into what God is speaking to us in that moment for that song.”
This understanding even brought about a lyric and name change for the song. “Originally the song was titled ‘Galilee’ and the post chorus lyric “peace, peace over me” didn’t exist,” Darst admits. “The original lyric said ‘Galilee.’ When we were considering whether or not to introduce this song to our local church, our senior pastor, Henry Seeley, came back to us and suggested we change the ‘Galilee’ part to something else.
“Mia immediately had the idea to change it to its present lyrics “peace, peace over me” and change the title to “Peace Be Still.” It just goes to show that collaboration is so important, and trusting your team is really vital in the creative process.”
“Peace Be Still” was actually released a few years ago on The Belonging Co.’s album as a nine-minute long live version. “The live version is really powerful and anointed. When I would lead this song out on the road, I often got asked if there was a shorter version. I think that question started the conversation about what it would look like to record a shorter studio version.
“We just had a feeling that maybe there were more spaces that this song could live in besides the live worship context. We weren’t sure, and honestly, it was a huge leap of faith for me to record a studio version. In the end, I felt released to give it a go, and my greatest desire was that any new version would just carry the presence of God. Beyond that, I didn’t have much of a plan and trusted that God would do with it whatever He planned.”
God had plans for the song, indeed, and it is having an impact worldwide as worshippers sing its lyrics:
“And I’m not gonna fear the storm
You are greater than its roar
Oh I’m not gonna fear the storm
No I’m not gonna fear at all”
As Darst explains, “I think it most definitely impacts your relationship with God. It is a song that reminds you of the authority God has over whatever you are facing, and the promise of peace He speaks over your life. Hopefully, it allows you to recognize that you can trust that God is for you and with you, and no matter what you are walking through, He offers you peace that passes your understanding or circumstance.
“To see how far this song has reached, all the places that it’s gone, the impact it continues to have in the church worldwide, and now within the Christian radio format—it is just unbelievable.”
Since “Peace Be Still” is so personal to Darst, she can relate with how the song can help bring transformation to those who sing it. “The song has served me personally in bringing me healing, exposing and defeating lies I believed, and ultimately being a part of God’s promises being true in my life.
“We wrote this song in a season when we had to put what we believe into practice. That worship—confessing God’s word and prophesying His promises over our lives—is one of the greatest weapons in defeating the lies of the enemy and building faith in our hearts and minds.
“I had to sing this song over my life as an act of faith long before it was a song known by anyone else. I had to sing the promise of God’s peace over fear, disappointment, insecurity, and anxiety, until the atmosphere of my mind and heart shifted.
“I hope that when people hear this song or sing the words, they feel the presence of God and the promise of His perfect peace that silences every fear or storm they are facing.”
The chorus declares trust in the God who controls the unknown:
“Peace be still
Say the word and I will
Set my feet upon the sea
Till I’m dancing in the deep
Peace be still
You are here so it is well
Even when my eyes can’t see
I will trust the voice that speaks
Peace, peace over me”
“Peace Be Still” can be incorporated into a worship set in many ways. Darst says she has used it as a transitional worship song, closing song, or ministry time song, as well as tagging the bridge onto the end of other songs.
“It’s proven to be pretty versatile in our set lists and seems to hold the same weight no matter if it’s acoustic or full band. I think it goes to show that the content of this song and the truth of its lyrics are really where its strength and power lie.”
“Peace Be Still” can be found on all major music outlets, with song charts available on Song Select. In this season of fear and uncertainty, introducing this song into our congregational worship can remind the Church of God’s faithfulness amidst the darkness.
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Over the past 15 years, Hope Darst, has been leading worship, growing her family and serving the local church. She wears many titles…wife, mother, worship leader and songwriter. In 2013, after a decade of being in full-time ministry and on staff at her local church, Hope found herself in a season of transition as she focused on being a full-time mom. During this time, Hope and her family visited a small gathering of people in a basement and encountered the presence of God in a new way. “I had been “doing ministry” for so long that I had ignored so many parts of my heart and life that needed ministry. I was desperate for healing and a fresh encounter with God. That year of rest became the foundation for discovering a new way of living with Christ. Week after week I would enter God’s presence during worship and the word and experience deep emotional and mental healing that I had long thought was impossible.” This “gathering” would eventually become what is now The Belonging Co. church.