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A Serene Peace

May 11th, 2016

“May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way.”  2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV.

Peace is the crowning presence of God in and around your life.

My thoughts and comments today are about, “a serene peace.”

Peace is priceless. Peace with God, peace with others, and peace of heart and mind are beyond price. A Scottish friend of mine often used an Old English word, “dispeace,” by which he described an unsettling lack of peace in one’s heart and mind. The Bible refers to peace with God, peace from God, and the peace of God. Peace first begins with a heart that is right before God. The Psalmist wrote, “Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace.” Psalm 37:37 NKJV. Similarly, Paul write in the New Testament, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Read Romans 8:1-4 NIV. Peace is never about what is absent. Peace is always about what is ever present, God’s Word and character.

From years earlier when I was a young pastor, I remember a story my Dad told that clarified Biblical understanding of peace for me. A wealthy individual offered a worthy sum to any artist who could best portray on canvas the concept of peace. Numerous, beautiful oil paintings of a variety of tranquil scenes were submitted for the competition. Among those was the most beautiful painting in which the artist had masterfully pictured a placid, flowing stream across a verdant meadow, blue skies above, and a backdrop of contentedly grazing wildlife and livestock with sunbathed, majestic hills in the distance.

The last picture to be judged was a rugged coastline with crashing waves beneath stormy skies with harsh winds and driving rains. Hardly anyone noticed the artist had painted the tiniest nest high above the pounding waves, where sheltered from the winds in the upper reaches of the rugged cliffs was a small bird serene, undisturbed, and at rest. The title was one word, “Peace.” Peace is much more than the absence of disturbance. Peace is the crowning presence of God in and around your life in every circumstance.

As a pastor, I have seen many people in the midst of terrible difficulty who displayed inexplicable peace. I am writing my thoughts today after a phone call from longtime friends, a mother and son mourning the tragic, accidental death of their younger son and brother. I expected to encourage them but in their words and tears I heard their peace and rest in God’s faithful, loving care in spite of their present pain. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 NIV. Perfect peace. In that verse, the only requirements for His peace are yours and my steadfast mind and unwavering trust. Develop an unwavering trust.

The most common greeting of the Apostle Paul in his letters to the New Testament churches was always, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:7 NIV. Because of grace we are given transcending peace. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NIV.

Today, I pray for you that mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. Jude 2 NIV.

Christian Communications 2016

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