Sunday, August 18, 2019

How to Have the Peace of God

With so many tragedies around us, we are in desperate need of a word from God as it relates to today's topic. The media is seemingly consumed by stories of mass murders, political unrest, daily and senseless violence, health scares, and many other generally bad reports.  There is a word from God that can calm the raging sea of worry that comes with being flooded with so much negativity. To know God is to know peace, but without God there is No peace.

What is peace? Peace can be defined as: the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is. We all have people we love right now who are in situations that cause us to be a little more than concerned. We know that it can’t always be that way.  Eventually circumstances will change, but, in the meantime, that moment of struggle may as well be an eternity. When faced with such circumstances, we tend to do the only thing we know to do, and that is let anxiety flood our hearts and minds. We are overly concerned about the things that are not going our way. The scoffer might say,”Can there really be peace? Is it realistic? Is it attainable?” This kind of questioning can rob us of our joy. But, this is also why we choose joy. JOY is what the Bible commands us to display in Philippians 4:4-9 and the following verses.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be anxious for nothing,

but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,
Let your requests be made known to God;

7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
In this passage, peace is promised to us by God. God, who cannot lie, has promised the believer peace. Not only is peace promised, but there is also the promise that our hearts and minds will be guarded through Christ. Think of the goalie in soccer or hockey. If Jesus were the goalie, his teammates need only concentrate on scoring a goal. Why? Because with Jesus on guard, the opponents must get past him to score, and we know that's not possible. If He is guarding your hearts and minds then what could infiltrate your heart and mind that would lead you to worry?  The answer is in this command, “Be anxious for nothing!” Nothing?  Nothing.  Nothing! These are the levels of emotions we go through as we think on this grand idea about not having to worry. Let's move to the next verses.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever

things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever

things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything

praiseworthy-- meditate on these things.

9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me,

these do, and the God of peace will be with you
The peace of God is maintained when we continuously acknowledge the presence of God. Once we believe that God is always with us, then we can begin to think the thoughts that He would have us think. Those are all positive thoughts. However, compliance with the command to "meditate on these things" requires more than mere positive thinking. It means taking on a mindset that focuses on the things above. For example the things that are really noble, just, pure, lovely and praiseworthy are all things that come with focusing on God.

The peace of God is possible, but it is only possible when we have peace with God. Peace with God gives us access to the peace of God. Peace of God is promised and can be maintained by practice. If you have peace with God through Jesus you can have the peace of God in your life. You do not have to worry. Are you a worrier or a warrior? God does not want you to worry. He wants you to depend on Him and trust Him. God wants you to experience peace that is supernatural and not understood by the world. You must prioritize joy, humility, prayer and meditating on things that are praiseworthy. You must become a doer of the word and not only a hearer. The God of peace will be with you! Today, you must seek God for this peace, especially if you are worried at all that your trials are not His will for you.
Everett Pope
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