Thursday, February 23, 2006

peace be still

The other day I saw a commercial on TV where there was this amazing beach and two people sitting there just watching the waves gently roll in. They had a pager and two Corona’s lying on the table between them. The pager goes off and they just throw it into the ocean. And they are caught up into a world of perfect peace and tranquility. What a life!

Today we transition our discussion about joy and turn our attention to Peace. A question: Do you feel like you have peace? I mean real peace of mind and heart. Are you at rest on the inside? When we talk about God’s life being in us we have to talk about peace.
What is peace? Is it the absence of problems or conflict? Do I have peace when there is nothing putting pressure on me and I am all caught up on my work?

All I know is that American culture promises peace but delivers little more than stress. America is troubled and afraid. In order to afford the regular trips to paradise beach we need lots of money. In order to impress friends and keep up with the latest trends we work harder and longer. In order to put money in savings or investments for our future so we feel financially secure...You get the picture. I could spend more time mentioning all of the other mental tortures and anxieties that rob us of peace in our minds and hearts in this culture. But instead I’ll share the good news.

But when the Father sends the Counselor as my representative, and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit, he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you. "I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid. John 14:26-27

Our Father has given His children a gift. Jesus sent this gift into our hearts. He is God’s own Spirit living in us. If you are trusting in Christ then this gift of His indwelling presence is yours. If the Holy Spirit is in you then Peace is in you. He is after all the Prince of Peace.

One time Jesus and His disciples were on a boat going across waters that suddenly became violent and dangerous. The disciples became afraid for their very lives. They look around for Jesus and find Him sleeping in the back of the boat. They wake Him and basically accuse Him of being off the job and apathetic to their plight. Jesus simply speaks to the storm and says, "Peace be still" and the entire scene changes to calm waters. He says to them that they have little faith in Him.

I believe that it is far easier for Jesus to speak to nature’s storms that to the storms of anxiety, insecurity, and fear that rage in our hearts. Can I hear the voice of God? Can His Word truly speak Peace into my life?

Yes He can! We are going to talk about this amazing Peace and how we experience it over this next week and in our weekend services.

Let’s start by making sure we know the facts:
1. God’s Peace is found only in a person.
2. We will have a lot of trouble and sorrow in this life.
3. The absence of problems is not the key to experiencing peace.
4. Only by trusting in Christ will I experience peace.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (NLT)

Remain connected to Jesus and you will have peace "in Him". He is a mighty overcomer and so are His followers who truly trust in him.

Peace be still,

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