The Peace from the Prince of Peace
What is peace?
Peace according to Merriam Webster, is the state of tranquillity or quiet; freedom from civil disturbance; state of security or order;...freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations; a state of concord.
How does this peace come?
Normally the world expects you to have peace when you have a good job, your children are healthy, in good schools and doing well at school. Worldly peace comes when you have a happy family, your wife has not left you, you have a chalet in Spain, another in Barbados for holidays and you have an account with money overflowing.
This is the worldly peace. But Jesus said, '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.' In other words, everyone can have tranquillity, accord or concord or be in a harmonious state if everything they hoped for is going well with them. But the peace I bring is different. It is such that you have tranquillity even when you have debts as high as Mount Everest. You have quiet even when all your friends desert you and your wife or husband has turn their back on you or your children have been run over or drowned in an accident.
It is a deep seated assurance that God knows and God cares even when you are not sure where the next meal is coming from. It is the ability to sleep like a baby when you are on death row like Peter, or sing praise to God at mid-night like Paul and Silas, when your hands and your feet are in chains. The peace of God is boundless. It is madness to the world, unthinkable. That is why the word of God describes it as a peace that transcends all understanding. It is a peace that flows from the throne of Grace, like a river. It is a stream with abundant flow, progressing continually regardless of the circumstance. It flushes out worry, anxiety, stress, distress and depression. It does not depend on happenings. It is anchored on the faithfulness, the loving kindness, the goodness, the loyalty, and integrity of God and His word.
We can see a glimpse of this peace when Jesus was in the boat with the disciple and fell asleep and continued to sleep even in the midst of a violent storm like a tornado. The disciple who had the peace of the world when everything was ok suddenly felt threatened and woke Jesus up from a sound sleep with the rebuke; ˜Do you not care that we are about to die?"
Jesus would want His followers to have His peace which passes understanding, which the world cannot comprehend; a peace that would point to the Master, the Giver; which would draw them to Him. It is implied that this peace only comes from Jesus and it is the inheritance, the portion, the promise for all those who have made him Lord and Saviour of their life.
When does this peace come?
When you surrender to God.
The peace of God cannot come unless you have peace with God. And peace with God only comes when you have said, 'Yes' to Jesus.
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom.5:1).
Jesus is our peace. " .. for He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.." (Ephe.2:14)
" Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way is prosperity will come to you."
I would lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)
"But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.
1 will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints” but let them not return to folly. (Psalm 85:8)
Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace (Ps.37:37 )
Peace comes through the word of God.
Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. (Ps119:165)
When you love the word of God more than your daily food, cherish it like one who has found a great spoil and you dwell in it , meditate on it, have respect for it, take it as God speaking to you, addressing your circumstance, you're bound to have boundless peace. You will know the reality of " God is my refuge and my strength, my ever present help in trouble. "... And though the mountain be carried into the midst of the sea, I shall not be moved." "...There is a river that makes glad the city of God. God is within her and right early." That peace that flows like a river in the midst of a storm is the peace of God. That peace emanates from God and God is in that peace. No calamity moves that peace. No principalities will shakes that peace. That peace will not be perturbed by bad news. Jesus is the way of that peace. Jesus is the source of that peace. He is the Guarantor of that peace. He is the personification of that peace- the Prince of the peace that transcends all understanding.
The peace of God comes through intimacy with God
The more intimate you are with God, the more your peace will grow and abound. Like Elisha, when your enemies surround you and your companion is panicking, you will see beyond the seen and ask God to open their eyes to see the angelic hosts encamped around those who fear Him. (2Kings6:15-17). You will be able to say even when out-numbered 10 to 1, that 'those that are with me are more than those that are against me.'
If you are troubled, reach down into this river of peace. If you are depressed, come to this river and be relieved. If you are afraid come and receive boldness, confidence assurance, faith in God- the God who never fails- all-powerful, ever faithful, mighty to save , mighty to deliver from the kingdom of darkness and translate into the kingdom of His dear Son.
It comes through Prayer
God is only a prayer away. It is the pilgrim staff of the Christian. God wants us to burden Him with what burdens us and as we go to Him in prayer, we can leave His presence with fullness of joy. He said, 'Call upon me and I will show you great and mighty things which you know not yet of.. (Jer33:3).
David said this poor man cried to the Lord and He delivered him from all his fear. In Psalm 73, the Psalmist was disturbed when he saw the wicked seemingly having a great time when the righteous had the wrong end of the stick. It did not make sense until he went into the presence of the Lord and saw from God's perspective, then he knew that the pleasures of those who ignore the Lord, are fleeting pleasures, deceptive and hollow. In Philippians 4:7 it says,"Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your request to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. In another translation it says,'... the peace of God will mount guard, be an umpire over your heart and decide with finality..'
Peace also comes from thinking right.
When your thinking is right, your action will be right. When your thinking is wrong, you are bound to do foolish things that rob you of the peace of God. So 'whatsoever thing are pure, honest, good, noble, admirable, lovely, just, true, think on these things.'
Peace comes from hearing from God
Prayer should be a dialogue and not a monologue. We need to develop a habit of listening to and hearing from God. The usual practice is to go to god with a shopping list, rattle it out and stand up and leave the presence of God. God also desires to speak to us, but we scarcely let Him. Paul, during his shipwreck sought the face of God and heard from Him and whilst others were dejected and starving themselves, afraid that their days on earth were numbered, Paul rose up and encouraged them to eat. He told them that an angel of the Lord spoke to him, assuring him that although they would lose the boat, there shall be no loss of life.
David knew the voice of the Lord and had peace and divine direction from that peace. The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me, his word was on my tongue. The God of Israel spoke,¦(2Sam22:2-3)
When the Philistines came to attack him, 'David enquired of the Lord: Shall I go and attack the Philistines?'
And the Lord answered him, 'Go for I will surely hand the Philistines over to you. And the Lord did as he said. David defeated his enemies as a result.' At a later time
they came again and David enquired again, but this time the Lord said, 'Do not go up against them. He proceeded to give David a battle strategy which he used to defeat his enemies.
Three nations ganged up to threaten the peace of Jehosephat. Their combined army outnumbered that of Judah several times. When the King was informed, initially he feared; then on second thought he did the right thing, calling a fast where everyone gathered to seek the face of God. He led the prayer and after praying a powerful covenant-rooted prayer. He concluded, 'we do not know what to do but our eyes are on you. And they stood waiting for the answer of the Lord. God did not disappoint them. He spoke in a prophecy: "Be not afraid by reason of this great multitude. Neither be thou dismayed. Tomorrow you go out against them for the battle is not yours but the Lord's. God gave them a strategy, which looked ridiculous- to sing of His mercies. And as they did God used the foolish thing they did to confound the wise. Their enemies fought against each other, destroying themselves- leaving spoils of war that took three days to carry back home.
To have the peace of God is to be level headed in times of great storm, learn to pray and even fast. Hear God and obey what He say regardless of how ridiculous it may be and victory shall surely be your portion..
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