Summary: This idea of peace is not found just once, but several times in Scripture. Peace comes through thanksgiving. Peace comes through knowing our identity in Christ. And peace comes through following our God-given purpose.
GROUNDED IN PEACE
INTRODUCTION... How do I get peace in my life?
Prema Baba Swamji says, to find peace by doing several things. Third on the list is to breathe the pain and ’upset of the moment’ symbolically out of your heart. This is a great secret. Your heart is a transforming device. It will turn negative energy into positive loving energy… then breathe out this positive energy and give it back to the situation or individual that tried to upset you. Repeat as often as necessary.
The Kadampa Buddhist Meditation Center says, “Since time without beginning we have been under the control of our mind, like a puppet on a string. We are like a servant working for our mind; whenever our mind wants to do something we have to do it without any choice. Sometimes our mind is like a crazy elephant, creating so many problems and dangers for our self and others. By sincerely engaging in spiritual practice we can reverse this situation, and gain mastery over our mind. Transforming our mind in this way, we will finally enjoy real freedom.”
The Life Improvement Resource Center offers programs to help you change your life and give you peace of mind. It offers... Rapid Results Grapho Therapy which changes your life by changing your writing. The Boundless Living Flightwave System uses brain fusion for creating a new reality. The Dreams Alive Creation Program promises to effectively eliminate obstacles and problems.
I hope you get the point. There is so much advice and expertise out there on fining peace in one’s life or finding peace of mind. Finding peace in our lives is a concern and a challenge for many people. Perhaps for you. I have to say though that my life is not grounded in anything else but in the Word of God. It is not through breathing or mystical pagan meditation or some fancy program that you will find peace. How do we find peace? What does God’s Word say about finding peace and peace of mind in our lives? Let’s look to God’s Word for the answer.
Paul tells us in verse 13 that he had ’no peace of mind.’ He had arrived in Troas and expected to find his dear friend Titus there waiting for him. Yet, that was not the case. Keep in mind he could not just grab a phone and find out where Titus was or if he was in trouble. He could be imprisoned somewhere or in need of help and Paul would have no way of knowing. He was stressed. He had no peace. Verse 14 though, has a ’but.’
I. PEACE THROUGH GIVING THANKS (VERSES 12-14)
After that crucial conjunction, which often signifies a change in thought or idea, Paul says that he gives thanks to God. He gives thanks to God specifically in this situation because of God’s leading. As I read these words, I get the idea that God is leading Paul step by step where he needs to go and who he needs to be with. And Paul gives God thanks for that leading.
It is the giving of thanks that I would like to focus on. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pastor imprisoned and executed by the Nazis in World War II said, ’In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. It is very easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements in comparison with what we owe others.’ I see the Apostle Paul giving credit where credit is due in his life and it produced a rich peace in his life. He says in verse 16 that he is not equal to the task and he knows he needs God’s help. He knew it was God who led him to Troas and opened the door for him and that he preached not in his own power. He thanked God for that. He knew that even though Titus was not there that he was in God’s hands and he thanked God for that. He knew that God was still leading him step by step and he thanked God for that as well.
One of the marks of authentic and real Christianity is the presence of a thankful attitude even in the midst of trial and difficulty. It has been called unquenchable optimism. This kind of thanksgiving does not say, ’Praise God I have cancer!’ but does place confidence in the Lord of Lords. Paul’s faith in God saw Him working and he thanked him. This gave him peace. This attitude of thanksgiving was the base of Paul’s peace. He did have ’no peace of mind,’ but then he began to thank God for all He had given and peace came into his life and replaced the turmoil. In our lives, we like Paul, need to acknowledge where our blessings and provision comes from if we want to have peace. Peace comes from thanking God that He is in control.