Summary: Stressed out? Exhausted? Want to find peace? There are two things that rob us of peace in this life. Find out what they are, and how we can obtain true peace
Humility and Faith – The way to Peace
Two artists who were asked to illustrate peace. Each was assigned the task of depicting a peaceful scene on canvas.
The first artist drew a beautiful picture of countryside on a warm, spring day. A soft sun illumines green grass. A picturesque farm house and grazing cattle are bathed in its warmth. A farmer walks contentedly behind strong plow horses making his field ready for spring planting. The picture is one of beauty and quiet tranquility.
The other artist took a different approach. He drew a majestic, rugged cliff. Gnarled trees, twisted by years of violent winds, jut from the craggy mountainside. Dark clouds hang low and fierce while jagged streaks of lightening slash across an angry sky. The picture is one of violence, chaos and rage.
But as one looks closely, something else becomes visible. There in one of the crevices of the rocky mountain, tucked back just out of reach of the wind and rain -- a nest with two small birds. Apparently unconcerned about the impending storm, they appear calm, cozy and peaceful as they patiently wait for the turbulence to pass
• Jesus was about to step into a storm of violence, chaos and rage. It was the night before his crucifixion and you can imagine how focused his mind had become on the task ahead
• He had seen the crosses on the outskirts of Jerusalem; He had probably witnessed a live crucifixion; He was aware of the prophesies of David and Isaiah
• Yet despite this impending storm that was about to unleash itself on Him he seems very much like those two little birds, he maintains an inner peace
As we go through this life there are two things that will rob us of this kind of peace is we allow it to
• We are the one’s who control “peace” in our lives. It is not the circumstances, it is not other people, it is not genes, it is us
• Alexander Solgzernitzen in gulag – soup bowl, blanket, he realized he was playing their game
• He stopped playing their game and the taunting stopped because he realized they were robbing him of the last thing he controlled – his response to their taunting
• In the same way we allow two things to rob us of peace
• So what are these two things that rob us of peace? They are “pride” and “fear”.
• As humans we spend enormous amounts of time worrying what other people think of us (Pride)
• The boss doesn’t like me! What will everyone think of my new haircut?
• We have whole industries built around Pride – Fashion, Entertainment, Media
• And as humans we spend enormous amounts of time worrying about our future (Fear)
• Girls where Susan works – New office
• And you know what, both of those things are under our control
• When I start to feel run down and exhausted, you know what I do, I start analyzing my life and ask myself the question, “What is it that is robbing me of my energy? Is it pride or fear?
Let me give you a personal example
• For the last 7 years or so Susan and I have lived under the threat of losing our job because of financial constraints
• First we worried about how we would make ends meet if they moved us to half time? That happened and we survived because God provided Susan with a job
• Now we live under the threat of losing our salary all together – now we could consume enormous amounts of time and energy worrying about our future - what will we do, how will we pay the bills, do we move, where do we move to etc?
• And what we would end up doing is allowing “fear” to dictate our lives
• Now my job as a pastor whether its my own life or someone else’s life is to give people gospel ways of coping in the midst of their problems
So what is the gospel response to Pride and Fear? Well let’s look at Jesus’ response to the storm He was about to encounter
• Here was Jesus on the night before the approaching storm and what was his frame of mind
• John 13:3-5 (NLT) 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him.
• If I knew that tomorrow would be the last day of my life, the last thing on my mind would be the state of the disciples feet