Summary: A message meant to encourage us to not give up when we look at the world around us.
Finding the Peace of God in Unsettling Times
October 19, 2003
I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone here that we live in a world of turmoil, right?
Wars are being fought all over the world, and even in our own country, we’ve adopted a terror alert system that while unheard of two years ago, is now part of our national vocabulary.
There is a war of cultures here in the U.S. One culture says “do what you want to do, and don’t think about the consequences, because the only thing that counts is your happiness.”
Another culture says that the greatest virtue in life is “tolerance” toward all people and all ideas, no matter how detrimental it might be to the person or the surrounding culture, because all that matters is that you have a spiritual journey that is important to you.
Other cultures preach hatred and evil in the name of ideas or religion, including Christianity.
How do we find real peace?
One guy says, “My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of chips and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.” SOURCE: http://www.cybersalt.org/cleanlaugh
Contributed by: SermonCentral PRO
Have you heard about the newest gadget to insure peace and quiet at home? It is called a phone less cord! Contributed by: Jim Kane
So how do we live lives that, while taking these things into consideration, do not adapt them, and are also able to live lives that are characterized by peace in the face of them?
I think the key is found in our passage today, from John 16:33. These words of Jesus came just hours before He would be crucified, and the lives of the disciples would be rocked to their very foundations.
Soon the Messiah they had hoped for and believed in would die a horrible death, and they would live in fear for their own lives.
Jesus, anticipating this, and also the persecution to come after His resurrection looks to put their minds at ease with these words:
"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."
Why did Jesus need to say these things?
Because the world is at odds with the purposes of God. But the good news here is that even with that, Jesus offers us peace. His peace. He says in John 14:27…
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
He wants us to have His peace, so let’s look at how to gain that peace, okay?
First, in order to find the peace of God in unsettling times, you need to…
Put first things first: gain peace with God.
You can’t have the peace of God until you have peace with God. What do I mean by having peace with God?
The plain fact of the matter is that outside of Christ, you are considered to be an enemy of God. That is the lot of all who reject Christ, or refuse to accept His offer of eternal life, which He purchased on the cross.
That’s kind of harsh, isn’t it, Brian? Maybe, but it’s the truth and I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you what the Bible says in order to spare feelings.
Enemies are not at peace with each other. That’s what being an enemy is all about.
But Jesus said that we can be a child of God, and there’s a huge difference in being an enemy and a child, wouldn’t you agree?
God doesn’t want you to be His enemy. He wants you as His child. He sent Jesus to make it happen. Jesus would rather die than see you live your life as an enemy, because there’s a penalty for that – eternal life in torment.
At the end of the message, I will tell you how you can become a child of God rather than His enemy. And then you can move on from gaining peace with God to gaining the peace of God, and that’s where we want to turn our attention for the rest of our time.
Let’s look at…
6 Strategies for living in the peace of God:
Allow me to give you six strategies to achieving a life lived in the peace of God.
The first one is to…
1. Understand God’s sovereignty.
This is a big word meaning that God is in control, from beginning to end, and that ultimately, His plans will succeed.
Jesus said that He has overcome the world. He did that in His death, in which He conquered sin and its power, and in His resurrection in which He conquered death and its power.