Friday, September 23, 2011
Where is Peace? 7
In continuing our exploration of where peace can be found, we are with Peter, Jesus, the disciples and the storm. Peter is out on the water, but he hesitates.
Some of us sit in relative safety in the boat with the disciples. And, although its rocky, we are trying our best to maintain control of our lives in the best way that we know how.
Some of us have made it across the sea and are walking on the top of the water in the middle of the storm because we have our eyes on Jesus, and we are holding His hand.
But then there are the majority of us, and we are right there in the mix with Peter.
We have have stepped out of the boat and are headed to Jesus. We’ve turned over control of our lives to Him halfway. We’ll let Him handle eternity, but we’ll take care of today. Caught somewhere in between self-control and Jesus-control is a pretty dangerous place to be.
In the book of James (1:8) he says a double-minded man is unstable in all he does.
If you haven’t yielded control of your life – your struggles, your future, your past, your fears, your everything – then you cannot have complete peace.
“Be anxious for nothing . . .”
I don't use the King James version of the Bible often, but I like the way this is phrased there-
“Be careful for nothing.”
That doesn’t mean that you can run around like a bull in a china shop. To be careful means to be full of care. It means to be consumed by your concern over the things that are going on in your life. But rather than being consumed by our concerns and losing our peace over them, we’re supposed to take those concerns to God.
1st Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. "
Back to Paul. Paul says that we are supposed to first pray. Praying is simply talking to God about what what’s going on in your life. It is your way of taking those things that cause you anxiety and worry
and placing them at the foot of God.
Then he talks about supplication or petition. That’s where we ask God to do something in our life and in our situation.
And then he says not to forget thanksgiving.
As we thank God for what He has done in the past, something begins to happen. We begin to remember all of the things that He has already done for me and how He saw me through all of those
situations in my past. He saw me thorugh situations that I thought I was never going to make it out of.
And then I start to realize that if He brought me through then, He has the power to bring me through today.
And God’s peace begins to flood my soul, not because the problem is gone, but because I know that since I have the power and person of God, I already have everything that I need to enable me to handle anything that comes my way.
Look at what he says in verse 7, A peace for which there is no logical explanation will put a wall of protection around you a wall that is provided by and built with the blood of Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:35-39, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When you are wrapped up in the arms of Jesus, and you know that you have an all-powerful God who hears your prayers and is in control of every situation, that’s when you can have real peace.
So, what have we learned?
Juts rejoicing over your problems and your successes will not bring you peace. Rejoicing in the Lord will.
Just yielding to life will not bring you peace. “Qe se ra, se ra, whatever will be will be.” That’s just being fatalistic and pessimistic.
But yielding to Jesus and giving Him control of your life will give you a direction and a purpose for living.
And, not having a God and Savior to whom we can turn to lay all our burdens at His feet and not having His power to handle our
problems will mean that we will have to deal with every part of our life on our own with no real help.
Other human beings cannot provide the peace that you need; we are each trying to deal with our own problems and situations. Only God can provide the peace that we need and long for.
But you’re thinking, “As best as I can tell, I am at peace with others, and my relationship with Jesus is right. Why do I still not have peace?”
The answer could be found in what you fill your mind with.
3. Peace comes through a mind that focuses on good stuff.
There is a famous scene in Peter Pan, when Peter is in the children’s bedroom, and they have seen him fly. Of course, they and they wish to fly too.
They have tried it from the floor and they have tried it from the beds and the result is failure.
"How do you do it?" John asked. "You just think lovely, wonderful thoughts and they lift you up in the air."
The same is true for the believer. The only way to defeat evil thoughts – thoughts that destroy your peace – is to begin to think of something else...