Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Peace on Earth!

The angels proclaimed God's blessing to those who came under His grace, "Peace on earth to men on whom His favor rests." (Luke 2:14)

The Christ Child came to earth as the Prince of Peace. He came to establish His kingdom and His rule, not with a plan for war and an iron fist, but with the grace and mercy of God. He came to re-establish peace with God and to implant in the hearts of those who would follow Him the peace of God.

This I know to be true . . . at least in part.

For there is still a great, and seemingly insurmountable, lack of peace throughout our world and within my heart as well. Sadly, I too often find myself "troubled" rather than filled with the "peace the surpasses understanding." (Philippians 4:7)

Why is this? I do know some of the reasons, but I would still pose the question, "How does one receive and maintain the peace of God in their life?"

What do YOU think?


Anonymous said...

I think to recieve and maintain the peace of God in our lives depends on our perspective of our situation...

Is the glass half empty or half full?

If you look at Job, he had every reason not to have the peace of God, but (for a time) he didn't complain or grumble. And I think the reason for this was his perspective...God was not at fault for his circumstances, but He was still God, so He still deserves our praise. Job maintained a level of peace because he maintained a relationship with God (a relationship in the sense that he continued to pray and fear God).

In the midst of the war and craziness that we find in the world today, I find and maintain peace by knowing that God already has overcome the world and we are mearly trying to catch up to him. Nothing is happening that he is not aware of and I have to trust that He knows what He is doing. Why shoudl I dwell on the things I can't control? I need to only dwell on what I can control and that is my attitude and relationship with God in the midst of both joy and sadness.

Those are my early morning thoughts...

Jeff M

Anonymous said...

I think to experience the peace OF God...we first have to experience peace WITH God. Once we have that personal peace that comes as a result of our being in a right relationship with God through His son,Jesus, then the peace OF God comes through what we believe about God. Do I really believe He is Sovereign? If I do then I have a "deep settled peace" that no matter what comes in or goes out of my life, what goes on in the world, what the financial picture is,who does or doesn't win an election, that God is in overall control.He is not asleep at the switch although from human perspective we are often tempted to wonder! I don't think that anyone can walk through life with no" concerns "about what is happening around us, or IN us or in our families. That is why we voice our prayer requests...asking others to pray for God's intervention in matters that otherwise tend to weigh us down. But even in those stressful times of great concern over a family member , loss of income or a wide range of other human conditions...in the life of a believer there is that "deep settled peace" knowing that God will "make a way".On the world front..as we once again are confronted with "peace on earth" in lights, on greeting cards, in sermons.....we so often shake our heads and say "no way"....centuries of fighting and misunderstanding among nations...there's no way it is going to stop now! We see and feel the war that is raging between the powers of darkness and the powers of light.We sometimes think the devil is winning the battle. Things don't appear very "peaceful"....and there won't be lasting peace in affairs of state until the Prince of Peace comes again to establish His rule over the nations. However,we as God's people have read the final chapter of the Book...we KNOW who wins and HE is OUR Prince of Peace as we walk our path in this crazy world. That sense of being held in the hands of a loving Sovereign God gives me personal peace. Ruthie

Anonymous said...

Well said, Ruthie!! Wow... As a pastor once said, "That'll preach!!"

In a world that is so overwhelmed with strife and stress, peace, or the concept of peace becomes a huge, undefined commodity. People try to obtain (reach for, grab) peace in various ways. "If I get enough money, I'll know peace." "If I get that promotion, then I'll get some peace." "If I get that new Lexus sport coupe I saw yesterday, then I'll have that elusive peace." "If I can get my spouse to see things my way, I'll finally have some peace." and so on. OR... people try to ATTAIN peace (earn, or even transcend to) by doing good works, or working their "karma" in a positive way. If they find that right combination of deeds, then they will be able to quiet that silent scream in their souls.

Neither way works. Or if it does, it comes with "provisos" or it doesn't stick around very long.

Peace comes from being satisfied. Fulfilled. Complete. Neither of the above ways can accomplish that.

Randy, you mentioned a peace that extends beyond our understanding. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Jn 14.27. If I can obtain, or attain peace, then that is a peace that I can understand, or as the world condones as an "Authorized" peace.

But, again, the world's answer to peace leaves us thirsting for something more. It's like dring a Mountain Dew. It can quench the thirst for a bit, but all that sugar, sodium and caffeine can only bring us back to thirst.

As Ruthie pointed out, it's only in knowing Jesus that we can know peace. As the bumper sticker said, "Know Jesus, know peace; no Jesus, no peace."

Jesus can give us peace, because by knowing Him, by having Him in our lives, He can satisfy.

In Him we are complete. Regardless of the surrounding circumstances in our lives. Regardless of the weather, regardless of whether or not we have that Lexus sport coupe in our garage. We are complete in Him.

The peace that comes goes beyond understanding, it breaches the world's norm of peace, and, in many instances, it makes no sense to us at all.

The peace of God is a by-product of a life that is hidden in the Messiah.

The peace for which the world longs, came to earth in the form of a helpless little Baby.

Know Him, know peace.

Blessings on you!!