ENJOY THE PEACE OF GOD!
Our Sunday morning message theme is “PEACE.” During the month of February, Ross Jagers and I are focusing on peace with GOD and the peace of GOD. We started off this past week with the emphasis on “peace with GOD.” Why? You cannot enjoy the peace of GOD until you first of all have experienced peace with GOD. How is this peace established? We learned the answer this past Sunday from Romans 5:1: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with GOD through our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Peace with GOD comes through JESUS, as Colossians 1:20 reminds us: “…having made peace by the blood of the cross.”
Once a non-Christian is justified, he or she experiences peace with GOD for the rest of eternity. As a result, this person now has access to the peace of GOD. While peace with GOD is a once for all time truth/reality, peace with GOD is not. Paul writes Philippians 4: 6-7 for believers. He says, “Stop worrying! But in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to GOD. And the peace of GODk, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in CHRIST JESUS.” Circumstances and life’s trials can cause believers to be stressed - to worry. We take our focus off of GOD and place them on our problems. When we keep our focus on GOD, we enjoy His peace. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on uyou, because He trusts in you.” So, in the Philippian text, Paul says, “Stop worrying! Start praying! Now, let me be totally transparent. It is easier to understand this truth than it is to apply it!! But truth is truth! When you start worrying or feeling stressed, then you should start praying. When you do, guess what happens? The worry goes out, and the peace comes in. And, by the way, this peace surpasses all understanding. And guess what this peace does? It serves to guard your hearts and your minds from stressful or worrisome thoughts or feelings. This peace of GOD will guard you hearts and minds “in CHRIST JESUS.”
Let’s be honest. Life is not easy! All of us struggle at times with stress and worry. Yes, pastors do as well! JESUS even warned us in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation.” Yet, our Savior reminds us of two wonderful truths in this verse: “In me you may have peace” and “I have overcome the world.”
Are you stressed out right now? Welcome to the “worry club!” The good news? You can renounce your club membership. You can enjoy peace with GOD. JESUS CHRIST Himself offers us this word of encouragement in John 14:17: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”