Summary: Perfect peace is found only in Jesus Christ by developing an intimate relationship with Him. Two ways to help with that is developing our prayer life and being obedient to Him.
Shalom! Peace! Jesus offers us the gift of his peace. Pope Benedict XVI, said of this, “Here, the traditional greeting with which people wish one another shalom, peace, becomes something new: it becomes the gift of the peace that Jesus alone can give because it is the fruit of his radical victory over evil.”
Through a relationship with Jesus Christ and living in obedience to him, we can experience a peace as stated in Philippians 4:7 that will not only surpass all understanding, but will keep our hearts and our minds securely guarded against the enemy.
There is a saying: “No Jesus, No peace…Know Jesus, know peace.” This is the key. The Peace that Jesus offers comes through him. In order for us to experience this peace, we must have a relationship with him. This is his desire for us.
The reason Christ came to earth was to bring peace to all who believe in Him—peace of mind, peace of heart, peace with each other and, most of all, peace with God.
The root word of peace literally MEANS, "to bind together." God’s peace can put our relationship with Him back Into perfect harmony that can dispel inner turmoil, fear, and anxiety that seems to cripple most people today.
It is true peace that is not merely the absence of struggle, hardships, and challenges, but the abiding presence of God’s calming assurance. John 16:33, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
There is no need for us to “come unglued” when things seem to be out of control. There is no need for us to cower in fear when life gets overwhelming. There is no need panic when jobs are lost, relationships break, and the money runs out before all the bills are paid.
Our faith stands firm on the foundation built from our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our faith remains secure because we know that circumstances have no power to destroy or take away God’s peace from us. Romans 8:6, says “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
Because of our relationship with Christ, we can find Peace that reassures our hearts and stabilizes our minds because we know answers will come and our situations will be resolved. Romans 8:28, “all things work together for good to those who are in Christ Jesus.”
I want to encourage us today to be direct and intentional in deepening our relationship with God. If you desire to have an unshakeable peace that Jesus offers, then allow the Holy Spirit to direct and guide you in deepening your intimate, personal and loving relationship with Jesus Christ as your Savior.
I believe the key to doing this is found in John 15:4-5, which instructs us: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
You cannot be an isolated or independent Christian. We must draw near to Christ and nurture and develop our relationship with him TO have true peace. Two ways we can get started with “remaining in Christ” is through prayer (communicating with God) and obedience (doing what He tells us).
PRAYER: This should become as natural to us as breathing. Prayer becomes more than just a time to “ask for stuff.” I like to think of prayer as “basking as much as asking.”We develop our prayers by taking more time basking in God’s presence through worship and praise.
Psalm 29:1-2, “Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings; honor the Lord for his glory and strength. Honor the Lord for the glory of his name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Spend time in thankful praise and gratitude.
Then, in addition to praise and worship, one should pray on behalf of others. This is known as “intercessory” prayer. 1 Timothy 2:1, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”
Our time of prayer is not only praise and worship, but offering prayers on behalf of all levels of government, our leaders, our nation, our enemies, as well as all our family. We pray, as it says, for “all people.” So, we pray!
The second way to develop and nurture our relationship with God is through OBEDIENCE. We cannot live luke-warm lives and expect them to be pleasing to God. It has been said, “Partial obedience is still disobedience.” Christianity is not a faith, based on what is convenient, nor is it a religion established by rules that are negotiable.