Join me this evening, by opening your bible and reading Philippians 4:1-23
We are reminded that in Hebrew the word “shalom” has many more meaning that we put into our English word “peace.” As we notices, Paul frequently in his opening of his epistles “Grace, mercy and peace.”
Did you ever find yourself engaged in a sharp difference with someone in your life – having strong feelings and perhaps a lot of anger and hostility in the midst of the quarrel? Then, have you had the experience of talking it out, and being reconciled, truly reconciled in mutual forgiveness and repentance? If yes, then you know what Paul means when he uses this reconciliation with God. A freedom and joyful state of fellowship.
Our peace rests right there, in what Jesus has done for us on that old rugged cross. The peace of God is Jesus. He is one with the Father, and when we live in him, we enjoy that oneness, too. When peace leaves you, flee to the Father, and ask the Lord Jesus to become that peace you felt leaving you.
We must learn to be content with what we have. As the old proverb goes:
We should pray for the courage to change what we can,
the patience to accept what we cannot change,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Jesus also points out that some things are more important than others.
We need to remember that our God is an active God. He did not create us for his enjoyment. By that I mean, we are not actors or toys that he created to amuse him and watch what happens to us. If we truly believe in God, if our faith is certain, then we will have peace of mind. Why, because we will leave all in God’s hands.
How do we reconcile peace of mind with the toils and tribulations of this world? First we need to understand that our home is not here on earth. Our home is in heaven. We are merely travelers here on earth. Secondly, we are told that our trials are trials which we should be able to handle. God does not want us to fail, but succeed in all things. He will not let us be overcome by that which we will not have success against. He will always be ready to assist us if we ask, sometimes even if we don?t ask. Third, Satan is going to tempt us. Why? To draw us away from God. Did you hear me? Away from God! Otherwise, Satan would not bother with us. Hence, we should rejoice in our sufferings and remember that suffering successfully will strengthen our faith, our resolve and perseverance.
You see if we do not have peace it is because we have allowed circumstances to lead us away from God and the peace He offers us. We have focused on the wrong things and not on God. Consequently, we have distanced ourselves away from God. God has not moved away. We have. It is time for us to draw near to God.
What were Jesus’ first words that He spoke to the disciples following His resurrection? “Peace be with you.?” A very simple phrase, yet it was exactly what the disciples needed right then.