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A Peace that Surpasses Understanding

December 13th, 2017

Where Christ governs, peace is found.

“The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “a peace that surpasses understanding.”

Peace is most precious to those who are without it. But true peace is elusive for many because, though they long for it, they do not know where such peace can be found. Our world is much like the world into which Jesus was born. Armies, hostilities, occupying forces, political and religious divisions were all the order of the day, then as now. Rulership was imposed by the strongest upon the weakest and the most brutal upon the most vulnerable, as today.

Yet Jesus came from the Father and was declared by angels as the Prince of Peace whose arrival was into exactly that kind of troubled world. “Suddenly a great company of the Heavenly Host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.’” Luke 2:13-14 NIV. Peace will never come by the force of men’s armies and political alliances. The Bible speaks of three expressions of God’s peace which Jesus gives that the world cannot.

Most importantly and foundational to all peace, there must be peace with God. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Read Romans 5:1-2 NIV. Such expressions of peace are only available to the one who has accepted Jesus’ invitation to live at, “peace with God,” surrendering to living life on God’s gracious terms, without hostility toward His Law and will.

There is peace from God. That comes only from Jesus, Who said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you, not as the world gives, neither can it take it away.” John 14:27 NLT. Peace from God is when a supernatural tranquility rests in your heart without regard to difficulty and distress.

Also, there is the peace of God. This peace is experienced as an unexplainable measure of well being and contentment that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Read Galatians 5:19-25 NIV. Those attributes are in stark contrast with those who live apart from the peace of God, as evidenced by, “discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions.” There is no earthly experience of peacefulness that compares with God’s peace, which is the very expression of His own character and conduct.

Imagine with me a time and place where it will truly be said, “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” Isaiah 9:7 NIV. When will that time come, and where can that be found? Where Christ governs, peace reigns. Isaiah foresaw a day in which it would be true. “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV. The answer is simple and clear. Where Christ governs, only there will true peace be found. Until you are at peace with God, you will not be at peace within yourself, will not find peace of mind, nor can you live at peace with others.

Peace is not the absence of trouble. Peace is knowing the living presence of Jesus, whatever the doubts, distress, or dangers of the moment. Peace does not come from your surroundings. Peace does not come from all men being in agreement. Peace starts in your heart, when you make all things right with God. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “’Peace, peace, to those far and near,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will heal them.’ But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’” Isaiah 57:19-21 NIV.

This promise can be your confidence; “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on You.” Isaiah 26.3 NKJV. My Christmas wish for you can be stated in the words of the Apostle Paul. “Now may the God of peace be with you all.” Romans 15:33 NKJV.

Today, I pray for you to be enveloped with enduring peace that cannot be disturbed.

Christian Communications 2017

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Transcendent Peace

October 26th, 2012

“Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.” Colossians 3:15 NLT.

Hearts and minds rest in transcendent peace when trusting steadfastly in God.

My thoughts and comments today are about “transcendent peace.”

Ours is a troubled world in search of peace yet ignorant of the source of its trouble. “Wars and rumors of war” exist, as Jesus said there would be. See Matthew 24:6 NIV. But the most consequential lack of peace is not global strife among nations; rather, it is the turmoil and absence of peace in one’s heart. Peace is an illusive objective, whether of nations, men, or the human heart.

Peace in one’s heart is only possible when Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is welcome there. See Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV. Jesus said, “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 NIV. Paul reinforced the same truth, “Through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1 NIV.

Many people mistake the absence of trouble for peace. Emotionally, those may feel the same at first. Spiritually, they are not alike at all. Peace is so much more than a lack of trouble. The Hebrew understanding of peace, “Shalom,” describes “the promise and possession of everything needed for well-being.” Peace is secure in the heart that is secure in the Savior.

When you permit any circumstance to trouble you, peace is disrupted but only seems gone. God’s peace will not leave you; His peace is within you, but someone or something was permitted to influence you to disbelieve in God’s abiding peace. At such moments, you may allow lesser things to disturb your peace and persuade you it has gone. Many things push peace aside – worry and anxiety, fear and dread, irritations and hurts, and questions and doubt grab your focus and misdirect your thoughts and emotions away from peace.

Or you can, “Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.” Colossians 3:15 NLT. The peace of God serves as an umpire who rules on the incorrectness of anything that disturbs your heart or mind. My friend, Campbell, taught me an old English word, “dispeace,” that describes times and places where God’s peace is lacking and will direct me where God’s peace abides. When Christ’s peace rules in your heart, His peace serves to overrule all that would disturb peace. Isaiah discovered, “You, [Lord], will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You . . And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard and keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Isaiah 26:3/ Philippians 4:7 NIV. The heart and mind rest in transcendent peace when steadfast in God.

Jesus taught that peace is not something the world can give; then neither can it take peace away. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give [peace] to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV. I love Paul’s benediction to Thessalonian disciples was, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV. That is God’s intention for you as well – at all times, in every way. But you have a role in having a heart of peace. “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace . . Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall see God.” James 3:17/Matthew 5:9 NKJV.

My prayer for you today is that you would be an ambassador of God’s peace.

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