By Diane Caston
We are looking today at the fruit of the Holy Spirit - PEACE.
Wow, is this ever something we long for today!
We live in a frantic world, a world moving at break-neck speed.
We are overwhelmed with information, some good, some bad and some useless.
This world is set up to rob us of our peace.
We have cares about finances – how will we support our families
We have concerns for our and others health
We have time demands on our lives – work, appointments, athletics, activities
We are anxious over our own faults, the places we want the Lord to work in us.
We suffer guilt from our own past sins.
We worry about our children and grandchildren – their safety in this wicked world, for their hearts that they will love the Lord
We are concerned for our county and its future
We are distraught over the persecution and the plight of the poor and starving people around the world
We live in a world set up to rob us of our peace
All these cares of the world can lead to High Anxiety!
But this is not the way our heavenly Father wants us to live.
Before we look at some solutions, I want to make a disclaimer.
*Some of the reasons we struggle in this life to find peace can be physiological. Sometimes a trip to the right doctor can works wonders. As we age, we have more and more things that go haywire in our systems. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.
*Sometimes it could be the effects of past tragic or traumatic events of our lives. Often, we need a good Godly counselor.
*Some things are simple poor time management. Ordering our lives better; being organized, not overbooking or taking on too much can help immensely.
Often though, it’s plain old cares of this world and the sin that so easily besets us.
So, let’s look at some solutions.
1. The first step to bringing ourselves into the peace of God is to deal with the mind.
Our thoughts are where the function of our lives begin. What we think determines what we feel and how we act.
This is why the Lord tells us to:
Colossians 3: Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
2. The second thing is to talk sense to ourselves.
Remind ourselves: Don’t we serve a good God? Hasn’t He always taken care of us before? Won’t He continue to take care of us?
Rom. 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
God is for us; not against us. His thoughts toward us are of peace, not destruction.
Luke 12:27-40 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
George Mueller was a German missionary to the orphans of England. He opened orphanages for the girls and boys who had no families. He was known for his life of prayer and faith in the Lord. One of the stories concerning Him tells us:
“The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat,” the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. “Mr. Mueller,” he said, “last night I could not sleep. Somehow, I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in.” Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children."
Hudson Taylor missionary to China patterned His ministry after Mueller’s and committed to always turn to prayer not people to provide for his needs and the needs of his ministry. He tells of one time as they were itinerating, as they called it, they were on the road going from town to town sharing the gospel of Jesus. They had no food with them and were miles from any town and he and his companion were hungry. Taylor began to give thanks for the meal they were about to eat. His companion thought he was crazy until over the rise of they next hill came a man with prepared rice that he shared with them.
God knows how to take care of our needs what ever they are; wherever we are!
Often this is really the first step, because we can’t bring ourselves to do the first two yet! The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!
Philippians 4:6-9 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus
(again the thought patterns). 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. The things which you learned and received and
heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Jude 1:20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
We know the obvious reference here is to praying in our prayer language. I also like this explanation.
Martin Lloyd Jones definition of praying in the Spirit:
“Here is the key difference: in the flesh, we are pushing the prayers forward, while in the Spirit, we feel caught up in the way the Spirit carries the prayer forward. Praying in the Spirit is experiencing the Spirit of life bringing prayer to life.
Sometimes praying in the Spirit will not feel electrifying at all. It will feel like groaning.
Praying in the Spirit means that the Spirit empowers the prayer and carries it to the Father in the name of Jesus. The prayer has a living quality characterized by warmth and freedom and a sense of exchange. We realize that we are in God’s presence speaking to God. The Spirit illuminates your mind, moves your heart, and grants a freedom of utterance and liberty of expression.
Story about Kim – supernatural gift
4. Our Father wants us to enter His rest. Entering into His rest involves obedience and often even battle
Heb 4:1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
This sounds unusual doesn’t it? We are to fear if we don’t enter His rest. He tells us why:
Heb 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
The reason we don’t enter His rest is because of disobedience or lack of faith. If we are following the Lord, seeking Him in all His ways, we are going to experience His rest. He has promised it to us. Does this mean we will be perfected? Of course not, but we know where to go when we fail.
Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
2 Cor 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments (imaginations) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
The Lord is serious. He expects us to live victorious lives. We need to use all of the resources He has provided to enter into the believing relationship with Him. It is a lack of faith and trust in Him when we will not acknowledge that He has provided everything we have need of.
5. Surrender to your current situation
The easiest way to find peace sometimes is to just surrender! Give up the fight against Him. The Lord is doing something in your life; go along with the plan. Don’t fight Him! You can’t win!
“There will be no peace with God, nor can there be peace in our hearts, apart from unconditional surrender. Refusing to surrender merely compounds our losses; delayed surrender only prolongs the conflict. As He wears us down, as the outer shell of an self-centered life comes off, as He brings us to that place that all that matters is our relationship with Him, we are conformed into His image. He burns off the dross in our lives. He takes us deep with Him if we let Him.”
1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Jn 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Jn 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.