April 22, 2018

John 14: 27

 Every day we hear of something new that undermines someone’s credibility. How would you feel if the FBI raided your home this week and seized all your personal materials including your personal correspondence, files, computer, and your cell phone? This is what has happened to President Trump’s personal lawyer, Mr. Cohen. I am not making a political statement, I am sharing with you that there are a lot of reasons people are overcome with anxiety in this world.  One of the greatest needs in our society is for people to experience peace. Many people all are searching for peace in their lives. Why is it that peace seems to elude our grasp? What would it take for us to have peace in our lives and not be controlled by anxiety and worry? The answer to that question can be found in Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) Jesus also told his disciples that He would give them peace that the world could not give or understand and because of this, they were not to be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27) 

What does peace mean to you?

            Are you at peace in your life?

Peace is not just the absence of conflict. Peace means wholeness and contentment in life. It is a positive quality of life that leads us to sensitivity and spiritual awareness.

1.                  Look To God

Romans 5: 1 & 2 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” The positive quality of life called peace comes when we are in a right relationship with the God who created us and loves us. Notice I said a right relationship. When you were young and disobeyed your parents, you knew there were consequences for your wrong attitude and actions. Your father may have said we will talk about this when we get home. He may have still been your father but you knew your relationship with him was not right. It is of the utmost importance for us as the children of God to be pleasing to God and in so doing we experience His blessings which includes being at peace with God. Peace is a part of the blessed fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5: 22)

Can we quench and grieve the Holy Spirit?

When we do, are there consequences?

When our heart is clean and our spirit is right there is the power of peace upon us!

2.                  Look Within

This experience of peace is described in Philippians 4: 6-7: “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 hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Jesus prepares us by saying, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The positive quality of life called peace comes when we feel right about ourselves because we are right with God. It is a challenge to not worry or be overcome by anxiety. However, God tells us to trust Him and not to worry. If we have needs and concerns, we are to take them before Him in prayer. When we learn to do this, we will feel better about ourselves. Do not try to carry around the weight of the world. We are not made to handle this kind of stress. It is God’s delight to help us with our burdens. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your care on him for He cares for you.”

Do you worry too much?

Are you anxious about things in your life this week?

3.                  Look Around You

This experience of peace comes through being a part of God’s family and  is reflected in Ephesians 2:14: “For He himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” Here Jesus is talking about our citizenship with the Lord. We become a part of His family and therefore brothers and sisters in the Lord. The positive quality of life called peace comes when we are rightly related with those who are around us. It is good to know that we can come and share together with others and know that we are loved and not attacked, judged, or condemned. People are searching for this kind of peace that comes through fellowshipping with others who love you and encourage you. I pray HCC will continue to be a haven of acceptance, love, and nurture to people who are hurting in this world and are struggling with anxiety. Why not seek to broaden your relationship with other people who may become friends used by God who encourage you deeply?

Who can you encourage this week?

How can you bring peace through relationships this week?

How can you better relate to people that you love them?

Peace is more than the absence of conflict. It is a positive quality of life that includes our relationship with God, our relationship with self, and our relationship with others!