Summary: Peace is illusive, yet God offers it to us on the basis of an assertive faith.
1. "Peas, perfect peas"; "All we are saying is, 'Give peas a chance.'"
2. Some funny church signs:
* "Tonight's sermon: Hell. Come early and hear the choir practice."
* "7 Days without prayer makes one weak."
* "Don't let worry kill you; let the church help."
3. Philippians 4.7-9
Barclay: "To Paul, God is the God of peace. This, in fact, is his favorite title for God (Romans 16:20; I Corinthians 14:3; I Thessalonians 5:23). To a Jew peace was never merely a negative thing; it was never merely the absence of trouble; peace was everything which makes for a man's highest good. Only in the friendship of God can a man find life as life was meant to be. But also to a Jew this peace issued specially in right relationships. It is only by the grace of God that we can enter into a right relationship with God and with our fellow men. The God of peace is the God who is able to make life what it was meant to be by enabling us to enter into fellowship with himself and fellowship with our fellow men."
4. Peace is being in right relationship with others -- the lack of fighting in Israel does not necessarily mean there is peace -- Palestinians are not really getting along with Jews -- tension is growing.
I. The Reality of No Peace
A. Stressful Situations Affect our Peace
I came across a list of what some experts consider to be the ten most stressful types of jobs in our nation today. According to them, the #1 most stressful job in our nation is being an inner-city high school teacher. Going to school every day with metal detectors and kids carrying guns and knives and with very little authority in the classroom makes that a very stressful job.
#2 is being a police officer. It's interesting that they concluded that being a teacher is more stressful than being a police officer, isn't it?
#3 is being a miner working underground, realizing that at any time it could all cave in and bury you alive.
#4 is being an air traffic controller worrying about 1000's of people in the airplanes that you're responsible for guiding in safely.
#5 is being a medical intern working long hours in emergency situations, not yet having all the skills you need, and trying desperately to learn them.
#6 is a stockbroker experiencing the ups and downs of the stock market.
#7 is a journalist battling deadlines.
#8 is a clerk in a customer complaint department; listening to people complain all day long.
#9 is being a waitress. And #10 is being a secretary.
1. Uncertain Life
a. Brief -- James 4.14
b. Not always as we plan -- 4.15
2. Challenges of Life -- Jobs can be good or bad but stressful even when we enjoy it
25 "I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
3. Family Relationships
a. Not as easy as we would like -- effort
b. Husband and wife -- mutual submission and service -- Ephesians 5
4. Other Relationships
Have you heard about Tracy Lyperd? Tracy was a beauty queen in VA a few years ago. Shortly after crowning her successor, she drove 250 miles to seek revenge on her ex-boyfriend for jilting her and marrying another. She took along a pistol, a hammer, lighter fluid and matches.
When she arrived at his house and rang the doorbell, it was answered by his new father-in-law. Tracy faked having car trouble, and asked if she could use the telephone. Once inside the house, she took out her hammer and hit the father-in-law on the head. She stunned him, but didn't knock him out.
What she didn't realize was that he was an ex-secret service agent. He grabbed her and as they struggled, she pulled the pistol from her purse and tried to shoot him. That's when the mother-in-law joined the fray and the two of them wrestled her to the floor, holding her until the police arrived.
I have a suspicion that Tracy, with that kind of disposition, was probably never in the running for the Miss Congeniality award. When questioned, she said that she was driven to seek revenge because she needed "inner peace."
a. Me first mentality