Summary: Peace that passes understanding
A PBS Special covering the events that led up to the "Battle of the Bulge" in WWII revealed some interesting insights. It was the autumn of 1944, and Germany had been beaten back behind its borders. The Nazi war-machine was in tatters, and repeated bombing raids by the Allies all but assured that Hitler’s forces would never rise again. Around the perimeter of Germany’s borders, the Allies spread a thin line of forces that one person observed was so scattered that a man could slip between its lines without being observed. All across Europe, there was celebration: parties, dances, speeches, all rejoicing in Germany’s defeat. The war was effectively over. The only problem was that somebody forgot to tell Germany. Even as his forces were being shattered and driven back, Hitler was devising a plan for one last onslaught. Underground factories churned out more weapons, armament and ammunition; more of Germany’s young and old men were conscripted and trained for war, and as Europe rejoiced, Hitler planned. His goal was not to drive back the Allies as much as it was to divide the British to the North and Americans to the South, and so demoralize them that they would sue for peace on his terms. Hundreds of men died because somebody forgot that the enemy still lived, and that the war was not over.
We are going to talk about peace this morning and cover many truths. You might be able to take them all in and I hope you will one or two things that you say that is what I need in my life and I will put it in my life starting today.
ENJOYING PEACE IN ALL OF LIFE Gal 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
Mk 9: 50 Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other." RM 15: 13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace 1Co 14: 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. Rev. 1:4-6 Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father, to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
The question I put before you today is “How would you describe having peace of mind?” Would you say: “no problems, no worries, no cranky people, being on vacation with all expenses paid, having a non-stressful job, the weather always pleasant, not being overweight, always looking good, everything paid for, no family problems.” In reality most of us know that life is not stress free. I like that the word Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Who is not under stress? I ran across a fact that tranquilizers are being sold at an all time high rate. We know that too much stress deteriorates the body. What do many do when under stress? They use alcohol, smoking, gambling, cheating and lying as ways to alleviate stress. PR. 14:30 “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but craving the rottenness of the bones.” Pr 3:7-8 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
I want us to know that the Bible deals with stress and talks about three kinds of peace we need. #1 We need Spiritual peace. This does not mean chanting, deep meditation, dreaming or going through ritual. Spiritual peace is being at peace with God. PH 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God made everything and was before all things and it is by Him we have our being. He is holy and we are sinners controlled by Satan. It is a great wonder that God is able or even interested in setting us free. JN 14:6 “Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I am the way To God. Jesus is not one way among many, but the way. JN 1:4 life is one of the great concepts of this Gospel. The term is found 36 times in John, while no other NT book uses it more than 17 times. Life is Christ’s gift and he, in fact, is "the life".
Spiritual life is peace with God and next we have #2 emotional peace or the peace of God. COL 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” The word for rule here means to umpire. What does an umpire do but keep peace when a game is going on. There may be disagreements but he is the one whom makes sure everything is right. He keeps the peace. Now think with me that God is the umpire of the universe and it is He you can turn to for peace even when the world seems to be falling apart. We might have heard even this week, “I need to get away,” “I need my space.” I am sure that there has been a time in your life that you have crawled into your bed with your body being really tired but your mind was racing so sleep does not come. Only Gods’ peace can give us the rest we need.