One of the most preached topics of our day is on how one can know or experience peace. The reason is obvious; people everywhere are struggling with turmoil and anxiety. With all of the teaching and preaching on knowing peace you would think we would be making some progress in this area but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Who doesn’t want peace of heart and mind? I was looking at websites that cater to this matter of how to find peace. Here are a few of the names I saw: “The TinyBudha.com,” was one. Another was “positivityblog.com,” a third was “operationmeditation.com “ Through a quick survey of them they focus on self-help steps with little to no substantive help that I could see. The bottom line is people need and are looking for peace in their heart and life.
As Bible believing Christians we understand that:
I. PEACE OF GOD IS ENTERED BY KNOWING CHRIST. Romans 5:1
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
It is not my purpose this morning to focus on this, but no one will ever know the peace of God until we have peace with God. What is the difference or is there a difference?
Paul explains to the Colossians what it means to have peace with God.
(Colossians 1:20) “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”
Every human being ever born into this world needs to be reconciled to God. Why is that?
(Romans 8:7) “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
Because, as the Bible makes clear, we are sinners that are at odds with our God, we need to have a right relationship restored with God. That reconciliation, or the re-establishment of peace is accomplished through the blood of Jesus’ cross.
Romans 5:1 explains what Jesus has done for us and how we can have peace with God. When we place our faith in what Jesus did on the cross of Calvary we can be “justified” or made right with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot have peace with God until our sin has been dealt with. Praise the Lord, that was what Jesus set out to do when He sacrificed Himself for us. His payment for our sin is the means by which we can be reconciled to our God and peace is made.
II. PEACE OF GOD IS ENJOYED BY REJOICING IN CHRIST.
Vs. 4. “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”
I have always appreciated this word from the Apostle Paul. I appreciated it even more when I came to understand what was going on in the Apostle’s life when he wrote this to the church of Philippi. Paul penned these words, encouraging these dear believers at Philippi to rejoice while he was a prisoner of Emperor Nero in Rome.
(Philippians 1:13) “So that my bonds (or chains or shackles) in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places.”
What conditions joy for you and I? Can we rejoice in Christ regardless of our physical circumstances? The Apostle Peter tells us why we can rejoice even when we are between the proverbial “rock and hard place.”
(1 Peter 4:13) “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
Where will His glory be revealed? There is plenty of Bible on this but just one verse.
(Romans 8:17) “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
III. PEACE OF GOD IS EXEMPLIFIED BY A SELFLESS LIFE. Vs. 5.
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”
A. THE CHARACTER OF A SELFLESS LIFE. Vs. 5a. “Let your moderation …”
Before I was saved my life was all about me. The focus and mission of my life was to take care of self. Jesus changed that. When Christ takes up residence in your life your mission in life changes. The cause of Jesus Christ then replaces our causes. What will honor Him becomes the most important thing in life. Paul says a lot about this in this wonderful little letter.
(Philippians 1:21a) “For to me to live is Christ …”
What does Paul mean by that? He is saying that his life was not about him any more. It was about the Lord Jesus Christ. He was no longer the proud pharisee. Listen to what he says a little later in
Philippians 2:3 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (pridefulness); but in lowliness of mind (humility) let each esteem (regard, or consider) other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
B. THE TESTIMONY OF A SELFLESS LIFE. Vs. 5b. “Be known unto all men”
Someone that has the peace of God is a powerful testimony to everyone around them. 1.) It is a testimony to the lost. Beloved, if you are saved you have something that is terribly missing in this world. The world of folks around you takes note that you deal with and battle the same things that they do but having God’s peace is something they don’t have. 2.) Your peace with God is a testimony to other believers that are not enjoying what the Lord has given them in Christ. They know they need it but don’t know how to have it. We will look at that more in a moment.
C. THE URGENCY OF THE SELFLESS LIFE. Vs. 5c. “The Lord is at hand.”
The Lord wants us to enjoy His peace for us now. Not someday in the future. It is not something we have to wait to have until we get to heaven. God’s peace is available now. Paul’s point is, Relax, enjoy what the Lord has done for you, Jesus is coming soon. If that was Paul’s attitude two thousand years ago what should our attitude be now? Christ’s promised and certain return is positive incentive for us to enjoy that peace in the present.
IV. PEACE OF GOD IS ENHANCED IN THANKFUL PRAYER. Vs. 6. “Be careful for nothing …”
I know that this isn’t the original but I think this is better. Rather than, don’t worry be happy:
A. DON’T WORRY BE AT PEACE. Vs. 6a.
If we reverse the syllables with the word “careful” you get the idea of what Paul is talking about. “Be full of care” for nothing. Don’t allow the cares of this world to overload you. We all know what it is to get something on our mind and not be able to let go of it. We mull it around and around and around until it has control of us. As Christians we try to let on that we don’t worry by using different more “spiritual” words like, concern, or we are burdened about something when in reality we are just plain fretting over stuff that most of the time we can’t do a thing about but let God be God and see what He would be pleased to do.
B. GIVE GOD YOUR WORRIES. Vs. 6b.
“But in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
What are the requests that Paul is talking about? From the context of the verse it must be all of that stuff that you were “careful” or “full of care” about.
This is a important biblical principle that needs to become a practice in our lives. Thankfully, we can with thankfulness, thank God that He will take care of everything we could possibly care about. Do we get the point? We can give all of those requests that are on our heart to the Lord. Why not? He can handle them a whole lot better than we can. Give them to God Who can never be overloaded before we get overloaded.
Think about it with this pitiful illustration. One of my chores around the house that, Marsha has to remind me about from time to time, is emptying the trash from the pantry the twenty steps to the trash bin outside. If I keep it emptied like I should there is no problem. If I don’t, the trash fills up the kitchen can and begins to overflow. Not only that, depending on what has been tossed in it can begin to stink. Obviously, there can be other consequences that become a problem for me. There is no reason for me to hold on to the trash my house. The trash bin outside has plenty of room in it and seldom gets filled and it is out of reach of our smelling it.
Do we get the message? There is no reason to hold on to the cares, burdens of life, when our God has no only told us to give them to Him, but has an unlimited capacity and ability to take care of them for us.
V. PEACE OF GOD ENCOURAGES THE HEART AND MIND. Vs. 7.
When we do that; what is left? Peace of God. Yes, in Christ we can have peace. When we do the smart and logical thing and give God everything that would cause us to be “full of care” He will grant peace. Verse 7 explains that peace.
A. IT IS A PEACE THAT IS BEYOND EXPLANATION.“Explain how God grants that peace, preacher.”
I can’t tell you more than what I have now. God’s peace is a peace, a calm that transcends our ability to explain it. Frankly, I am glad that God is bigger and what He does is greater than my ability to explain.
Take note of the twofold protection that God’s peace provides. B. IT IS A PEACE THAT PROTECTS THE HEART.
(John 14:1) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”
C. IT IS A PEACE THAT PROTECTS THE MIND.
(Isaiah 26:3) “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
D. IT IS A PEACE THAT IS THE BELIEVER’S THROUGH CHRIST JESUS.
Beloved, there is one way to know this peace and that way is through Christ Jesus. My dear friend, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior you will never be able to enjoy peace: the peace with God or the peace of God.
Brother and Sister in Christ, why be filled with care? Jesus died to give you peace. He wants you to give those cares to Him.
(1 Peter 5:7) “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
CONCLUSION: (John 14:27) “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
(Matthew 11:28) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (The word “Rest” means to refresh you, calm you)