Summary: Those who believe can expect peace. Expect peace because of what Jesus has provided. Expect peace in spite of circumstances. Expect His peace instead of the false, tenuous version offered by the world.
Faith Expectations Part 3
Reading/Text: John 14:22-27
[This lesson and this series are drawn from the writings of Tom Allen in his book “What to expect now that you believe.”]
This lesson is another in the series titled Faith Expectations. I know it is probably true of many gathered here tonight, I know it true for myself, that when we had obeyed the call of the gospel, accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and been Baptized into Him there were great expectations of what our faith would do in us, for us, and through us. And we are justified in these expectations:
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
John 10:10b “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
We are right to have high hopes for our faith. As believers we should never lose the “great expectations” of our faith especially since the greatest expectation will one day be fulfilled in the return of our Lord and Savior. Until that day it remains for us to balance our expectations with the reality of living as sojourners in this world. And so let us consider a great expectation of our faith: Expect Peace.
Our text underscores the expectation of peace we may have when we are a part of the family of God. This peace is ours even in the midst of this troublesome world in which we live. As Paul says, we may know “the peace of God which transcends all understanding.” Philippians 4:7
I.His Peace Instead of…
A.His peace, not the world’s peace
1.John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
a.Christ clearly tells us that the world may offer a rendition of peace that is not “His peace.”
b.We may have experienced the world’s peace, a certain kind of tranquility in our lives derived from career satisfaction, or material success of some kind. Perhaps from Marital contentment, or some other external circumstance but this is not “His peace” and it never stood the test of time.
c.Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 “I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all. Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them.”
d.We are sinners in a sin-cursed world and without peace with God it doesn’t matter the material wealth we have or worldly success we attain, if we have not settled the issue of sin we cannot have “His peace.”
2.Romans 1:18-20 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
a.Paul declares all unrighteous are without excuse in ignoring God as all creation bares witness to Him.
b.He also says that the wrath of God is revealed…against them and that shows in the discontentment felt in the peace of the world, that contentment which never seems to be obtained even though they appear to have everything necessary to have serenity.
c.What they continue to long for is “His peace,” the peace of a soul that is right with God.
3.Only salvation through the blood of Christ can give peace in this world and the next.
a.The world cannot give us nor teach us how to experience Divine peace. We can chant, do yoga, chart our bio-rhythms, listen to meditation music, practice the power of positive thinking, and we will not find the inward tranquility that only God can give. The world can’t supply it nor can we find it in ourselves. It comes from God alone.
b.John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world".
II.His Peace In Spite of…
A.His peace is not determined by circumstance.
1.2 Corinthians 11:23-28 Paul details his trials.
a.2 Corinthians 12:10 “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”