Summary: At the beginning of every year we make decisions to improve our life. We try to lose weight, kick that bad habit, or just be a better person. In this sermon we explore how to have true peace in our lives which only comes through God.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
* This is the time of year that suicide is up because so many people are depressed and suffer from a lack of peace in their lives.
* Things in their lives just don’t seem to be going right. They can’t get ahead financially, the dealing with the loss of a loved one, or they suffer from low self esteem and feel that no one really cares about them.
Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people. Even though mental disorders are widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion — about 6 percent, or 1 in 17 — who suffer from a serious mental illness. In addition, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada for ages 15-44. Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. Nearly half (45 percent) of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for 2 or more disorders, with severity strongly related to comorbidity.
The statistics on teen depression are sobering. Studies indicate that one in five children have some sort of mental, behavioral, or emotional problem, and that one in ten may have a serious emotional problem. http://www.about-teen-depression.com/depression-statistics.html
Our society has given us a lie about what true peace really is. They say it is in possessions, alcohol and substance abuse, extra marital affairs, or self fulfillment.
God has such a different idea of peace. Let’s take a look at it today…
1. Everyone wants to have peace in their lives
A. There are all kinds of "self-help" programs to give us inner peace
B. Psychiatrists are raking it in because people want to have peace in their lives.
2. We can find true peace in Jesus Christ
A. Jesus gives us peace – Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: – Romans 5:1
i. We can’t have that peace until we know Jesus personally
ii. We must have an ongoing relationship with Him
B. We can have peace through prayer – Philippians 4:4-7
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7
i. Peace begins with rejoicing
ii. We must commit EVERYTHING to prayer
3. How can we know what true peace is
A. Peace is evidence of the Holy Spirit working in our lives – Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
i. The “fruit” of the Spirit is an after effect of growth
ii. To be able to reap the fruit of the Spirit, we must walk in the Spirit – vs. 25
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. – Galatians 5:25
B. Be full of peace – Psalm 34:14
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. – Psalm 34:14
i. The Lord will fill us with Peace – 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. – 2 Thessalonians 3:16
4. One note about tribulation
A. God tells us that we WILL have tribulation in our life
B. Don’t Worry – God’s taken care of it
i. Mark Lowry – “And it came to pass…”
ii. Washington is full of peace monuments. We build one after every war.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do; all we have to do is to enter into it.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.