Main Truth: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
This past weekend I attended a funeral for a young man who left behind a widow in her twenties and a 6-month-old baby girl. The day prior my husband had knee surgery – an injury that has taken him out of work for two months and he has at least two more months to go in rehab. My daughter told me the other day that her best friends’ mother just found out she has cancer. Meanwhile, I am going on month 8 of severe foot pain and I am still chasing down the cause. That is just a quick snapshot from my vantage point, and I have no doubt you could take inventory of the lives lived around you and find similar circumstances. Everywhere we look we see war, rebellion, hate, poverty, sickness, slavery, sex trafficking, lies, cheating…. wow, I can feel the stress just typing out the list. Pageant queens cry out for it, the world is searching for it, but the bible is clear – Ezekiel 7:25 says men will seek peace but never find it.
That truth, however, hasn’t stopped mankind from their pursuit of it. Some spell peace M-O-N-E-Y and think they will attain peace through their possessions or success and reputation, others think they will find it through relationships or the lack thereof. But in the blink of an eye our fancy car can get totaled, our job lost, and our relationship dissolved through a moment of infidelity and just like that our peace is gone.
Jesus came on the scene during a time in history when poverty, slavery and war were prevalent and He made it clear that His disciples would be persecuted, have to lay down their lives and be outcasts. He said that men would hate them because of Him, and He has assured us all that in this world we would have trouble and experience tribulation. YET, despite this reality, He also promised that He would leave us with His PEACE. Is it any wonder the disciples and so many of us get confused by this supposed dichotomy?
This begs the question of what real peace is and where it comes from:
1. Peace is only found through faith in Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Jesus sacrificial death on the cross reconciled sinful man to almighty God. Sin separates man from God. When we give up our rebellion, we experience peace. When we put our faith in the gift of the cross, Romans 5:1 says: “…since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Our faith justifies us and once justified; we have peace with God. So, as believers, we hold the key to accessing the only true peace available to mankind. You cannot have peace without Jesus, the Prince of Peace. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 says, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in all circumstances.” There are no limitations to His peace. His peace encompasses every situation you will ever face at any time in your life.
2. Peace is found through an authentic relationship with the King of Peace.
Jesus is the sustainer of our peace through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” His peace is so accessible, but we often fail to access it because we haven’t taken the time to develop and maintain a deep relationship with Him and therefore don’t know Him like we should. The story in Mark 4 is a perfect example. The disciples are in a boat with Jesus. Verse 37 says ” A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.” Who can’t relate to feeling swamped by the circumstances in our lives! “Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” I’ve been here too! That feeling that my God is asleep on the job and just doesn’t care about the circumstances in my life. It continues, “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still! ”Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They still did not know who Jesus was indicated by their statement, They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” That is a great question. Who is our God really? Do you know Him like you should? So often in our lives all hell is breaking loose just like it was for them on the surface of the water. However, the deeper you go, the calmer the water. The more I KNOW my God, the more time I spend with Him, the deeper I go with Him, the more I feel His peace. And so will you! At the first sign of trouble, I implore you to dig into His living word and know Him more.
3. We are in control of the degree to which we experience His peace.
When we are in sin, we lose our peace. Sin creates strife between us and God. Psalm 119:165 says “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” We must be honest with ourselves and take a heartfelt inventory of our lives. We often complain about the anxiety and strife we feel but are unwilling to address the issues in our lives that we know are contrary to the Christian faith.
When we doubt, we lose our peace. We can’t have peace and doubt the Peacemaker. If you are struggling with peace, meditate and memorize His promises.
When we project on today tomorrows cares, we lose our peace. Matthew 6:34 is very clear. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” As if we didn’t have enough real things to worry about, don’t you just love that we manufacture more reasons to not have peace in our lives? I think I can teach a class on this one as I know I perfected it over the years!
It breaks my heart that so many of my Christian Sisters are struggling with anxiety and depression and don’t experience peace in their lives. This may not contain every answer you need, but I believe it’s at least a good place to start.
The good news is that perfect peace is accessible to each of us who call Jesus our Savior and the level to which we experience His peace is in our control. We must know Him deeply, walk in righteousness, rest in His promises and focus on what is in front of us!
Peace be with you my Sister!
Post written by: Janice Seal
Janice grew up in the Bay Area in a broken family. She met Christ in the 3rd grade at a neighborhood gathering for kids called a 5 Day Club. The woman who led the club took her to church where she was baptized and received her first bible. In later years, she encountered the ministry of Young Life where she deepened her faith and felt the call to love others with the love of Christ as she had been loved. She now serves at Powerhouse Ministries and claims it is the highlight of her week. Janice is married to her husband of 24 years and they have three children all now in college.