How can I get some peace?
Hello again, the last time I spoke with you we talked about trust, particularly in the time of the Corona virus (see https://youtu.be/cOEl4Purhqc)
We are in a position where peace is very difficult to find, and I mentioned that peace and trust are related. The more we trust God the more peace we have, and the question becomes where does trust come from? What can we do to build trust? At the end we’re going to do a directed meditation, which i think is going to help a lot, so that gives you something to look forward to.
A study I read said that most of us are far more impacted by the losses we experience than by the wins we experience. I found that to be true. Something can go very right and I’m incredibly happy and thankful about it and the next day something really bad happens and I forget about the good thing and I focus on the bad thing, I think what it means is that were pessimistic by nature, We’re risk-averse and life gives us enough things to feel bad about that we adopt an attitude of pessimism. But pessimism is the enemy of trust and pessimism is the enemy of peace. Because peace is proportional to trust, the more we trust God the more of his peace we experience.
Now Jesus promised us peace he said “my peace I give you.”He gave it to his disciples. He is the Prince of Peace and he said this I give you, peace not as the world gives you peace. Peace from the World I think we need to look at that how the world gives peace. When do you experience peace the way the world experiences peace?
Well the peace that the world brings is when everything’s going perfectly. You’ve just had a great vacation, you’re completely rested, your financial adviser tells you you’re well prepared for the rest of your life, the children are perfect, nobody’s sick, there’s no dental work to do, you’ve got a great job, you’re secure, life is good. That’s circumstantial peace. When everything’s going fine, yes of course life is great, but all it takes is one little problem to knock you off that position of peace and you’ve lost your peace. Jesus says I give you peace, not as the world gives peace.
So what is the peace of God? Where does it come from?
The first thing to understand is that it is divine. it’s not humanly possible to do it on your own. The peace of God is something that He gives. It has a supernatural component to it. Now at that point we could just give up and say “well God hasn’t given me that supernatural peace, and so I’m not going to get it, that would be putting all of the burden for my peace on him.” Or “God you’ve just got to give me this peace you’ve got.” Sometimes he does that, but if he did that all the time would completely deny our role, our cooperation with him in receiving his peace.
What’s the human activity that we can practice that is going to increase our peace?
I want to tell you a story, a number of years ago, okay a few decades ago I was in the worst place of my life. My mother had died, my father was in a depression, my wife was very, very sick with something we didn’t understand and didn’t know what it was and I’d been in the middle of the worst church that I could possibly imagine. Because what I was going through was clearly too much for me and the thing that I missed the most was his peace. I just didn’t have his peace. My prayer time was basically just sitting alone in stillness and feeling depressed. I really didn’t even sense his presence. One day I was calling out to him and I was saying I don’t have your peace. I have no peace.
Philippians 4:4 popped into my mind. I went and looked it up. “Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord always, I’ll say it again rejoice.” I took this as a message from God. I took it as coming from Him, like this is something marked that you’re supposed to pay attention to. And so I read the words “rejoice in the Lord always I will say it again rejoice.”
I thought, you’ve got to be kidding, Lord, you’ve got to be kidding me. Then he said, “do not be anxious about anything” and I thought are you kidding me. Seriously the circumstances I’m in causes nothing but anxiety, how can you tell me not to be anxious about anything in the middle of all this loss, all these problems, all these unanswered questions, all these fears for the future.
“But in everything by prayer and petition” and I thought yeah I pray every day for deliverance. I pray every day for things to change, I’m petitioning you constantly. I’m doing exactly what this verse says. I’m not rejoicing, but who can in circumstances like this, “But in everything by prayer and petition” and now here’s the part that got me, “with Thanksgiving.”
At that point when I read the words with Thanksgiving, this thought came to my mind, when was the last time you came to me seeking peace and you came with Thanksgiving? I was honest with the Lord, and I said I don’t have anything to be thankful for how can I come with Thanksgiving?
Listen to Part 2 to hear what God did.