Have you ever thought of peace as a defensive measure? Peace is the nucleus of your and my spirit, is the entryway of our inner private thoughts, always defending, safeguarding us and permitting us to have tranquility in midst of hardship. You say, "Pastor Paul, does that mean that I can have peace in my life even when I’m going through a dreadful moment, regardless of my inward distress?" I’m saying that’s exactly the peace that we’re speaking about biblically this morning.
This morning in this service I can see a precious couple here that has been through the mill during this past summer with a daughter who has been plagued with cancer, undergoing treatment and not knowing the outcome until recently. This passed week they have had to experience the passing of very close family members due to an accident. They wonder, “When will all these awful things that is plaguing our family come to an end? We need some peace, Lord!”
I can see a lady that is very active with her family, the individuals here in this church and at the work place, that she and other family members were injured by a drunk driver in an accident while far away from home. Then following that she has had to undergo treatment for a racing infection of a joint in her body and is now home still administering antibiotics to herself through a pick line. She wonders, “Why me, Lord? Why am I the one who deserves this mistreatment? Isn’t there anyone else more deserving who is disobedient to Your Word and teachings? When will I have enough peace in my life to move on?”
I can see a great man of faith being worn down by antagonizing back pain to the point at times he wonders if he is going to be able to move. Presently he is subjecting himself to spinal injections just in order to find some relief. And he wonders, “Is this really going to work like the doctor says it will? Lord, as the Great Physician, please bring me enough peace amid the pain to cope with my day-to-day living.”
I can see one of our elderly ladies weakening before my eyes. She is a woman of great faith and has been a very active soul in the life of this church. It has even come to the point that she has reluctantly considered backing out of a few things. Also, she has become a deep concern of her spouse of many years who also is no longer able to be as active as he used to as well. I am sure the two of them wonder, “After all we have been faithful to you and your kingdom. Isn’t there any way that our golden years can be that of your peace in our souls and a strengthening of our physical well-being?”
I can see one individual who actually does not know the activities or the exact whereabouts of a drug addicted, prodigal daughter. Wondering everyday whether or not the next phone call she gets is going to be the good news that her daughter is headed home to seek rehabilitation for her disease or the worst news she could ever hear, her daughter is dead. Mom wonders, “When will she finally understand who Jesus really is and give her life to You? That’s the only place that I know she will find real inner peace.”
I can see a man who has had to deal a number of years with pain and loss of ability to keep up his stamina. He has had to take excessive amounts of prescribed medication just to cope with all the stress his physical body entails. He now realizes that part of his life is missing due to some of these medications. He is a man who truthfully wants to be a great part of his family, but feels robbed of that due to his physical condition and emotional stability. After visiting and talking with him I know that he often wonders, “What about all these emotions I am feeling, God? Can I make it without the medications I’ve been dependent upon for years? All I seek is just a little peace and comfort in my life; will that ever come to be?”
I can see another lady in our midst today that has the knowledge that her place of employment is closing. Not only that, she like many other women of this church is a widow and trying to keep her home. Even though she has accepted the inevitable, I know she still has to wonder, “Okay, I’ve been able to make it this far with Your help, God. But, what about next week, next month and next year, Lord? Will I be able to have the peace that all things will work out for my best and Your glory?”
I know of families that are in the midst of strife and discontent where personal problems have magnified into marital malfunction or in the crux of things driving family members apart. They wonder, “Can’t we just get along and find some peace once again?”
I visit in the home of a man that barely can get about his home due to arthritis. Being crippled by this dreadful disease of the joints and boney tissue of the body he still maneuvers as best as he can to fix his own meals and do what chores he can. Yet, from hearing him speak to me, I know he often wonders, “Where will I be tomorrow, Lord? Will I still be here at home or am I finally going to have to give in and return to that nursing facility to have a peaceful existence?”
I can see a number of widows that have experienced the loss of her mate. I know that many of you struggle day-to-day with loneliness, being able to make ends meet and not knowing if your family will always be in the area to care for you. I often wonder, “Are they able to know that they are not alone, that they know that someone is watching over them and that He will never leave nor forsake them and that He will always be sure that their well-being is of great importance to Him? Please God, will You grant them Your peace in their minds, souls and hearts.”
Now I’m trying to share with you about a peace that transcends the human mind. I’m doing my best, with a God-given ability, to articulate about a peace that is beyond the grasp and the contact of humanity. I’m attempting to confer that the peace that God gives is one that the world cannot remove from its place or strip away or pilfer. I’m speaking, this morning, about a peace that only God can give. It’s a peace that will ultimately change any person’s life! Including yours and mine!