Torchbearers for Christ
Friday, January 19, 2018
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ENJOYING GOD'S PEACE

  
“You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you” – Isaiah 26:3.
 
Of all the experiences which human beings seek, probably the most desirable to have is peace of mind. Unfortunately, we live in a world where peace seems to be a scarcity, surrounded as we are with discord, violence, warfare, hatred and injustice. Why is this? The Bible describes those who are estranged from God as being “like the troubled sea when it cannot rest whose waters cast up mire and mud. “There is no peace” says God “for the guilty”. This simply means that until the matter of our guilt before God is dealt with, peace will never be experienced. Sadly, many are seeking peace of mind in Eastern religions. Others are trusting in spiritual substitutes such as the acquisition of wealth, in pleasure, sport and success, but to no avail. Many who have achieved their goals confess to an inward emptiness, not realising that their basic problem is that they are out of harmony with their Creator.
 
But the good news is that it is possible to enjoy a God-given peace as a result of the coming of our Lord Jesus into the world to restore broken relationships between man and God. We read of how Jesus “made peace through the blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself....” Through forming a meaningful relationship with the Lord Jesus, the accusing of a guilty conscience can be silenced and the peace of God can be enjoyed. This is the peace that the Lord Jesus Himself experienced and He promises it to us as a gift. He said in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace give I unto you, not as the world gives, give I unto you”. In Romans 5:1 we have this simple, beautiful promise, “therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. God has taken the initiative and offers peace to all who are willing to repent of their sinful ways and trust in the saving work of our Lord Jesus.
 
Having entered into God’s peace, how can this priceless experience be maintained? We are told that “to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). How are we to understand being “spiritually minded”? It means to submit ourselves to the influences and leading of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. God gives us His Spirit in order to change us into Christlike people (2 Corinthians 3:18); our part is to be obedient to the Spirit’s promptings and guidance.   Then we are told in Psalm 119:165, “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble”. To love God’s Word, to read it regularly, to believe it, to meditate in it, to listen to it and to obey it wholeheartedly is a sure formula for enjoying God’s peace. In Psalm 37:11 we have another help towards experiencing God’s peace. It reads, “The humble shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace”. Humility attracts God’s favour, but He resists the proud man. 
 
Can this peace be experienced when difficulties, sorrows and problems arise? God has told us that we should not be unduly anxious about anything, but “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God, and the peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7).
 
In conclusion, the following verses express my heartfelt desire for us all.   We read in 2 Thessalonians 3:16 “May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means” and in Numbers 6:26 “The Lord look upon you with favour and give you peace”.   Amen.
        
This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  Since 1983 he has travelled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.