Summary: In this message we look at the example of the “Prince of Peace” from Matthew 14:22-34Open Link in New Window. Here is the often heard story of how Christ walks on water and Peter steps out to meet Him. Peter then takes his eyes off Christ and begins to si


The text here may best be called a collection of notes from As the message for this sermon was shared, it was a skimming over major points rather than a run down of everything in this document.


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Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

“I’m living, but I’m not doing the living”, Paul cried out. “I’m dead. Christ is alive, and I am watching Him live His amazing life through me”. And then Paul gives us God’s definition of love: He says, “He loved me, and gave Himself for me.” That’s love: God giving Himself away for those who do not deserve it, cannot repay it, and may not understand it. That same Paul, in the midst of years of imprisonment, persecution, hardship, and the facing of certain death, used a prison cell as his personal post office, and wrote letters from his heart to the hearts of those outside who were wondering what kind of fear and frustration Paul was suffering from inside those cells of death. In every case, Paul began those letters the same way: He wrote:

“Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 1:3, 2 Cor 1:2, Eph 1:2, Phil 1:2, Col 1:2, 2 Th 1:2) Grace and peace. The Pauline twins. Like two hearts that are woven together by threads of divine design, grace and peace seemed to be both the cause and effect of each other. Only the grace of God can bring about the peace of God, and oh, how the peace of God draws upon the grace of God for its strength and power. Grace and peace. Two sides of the coin of the enabling life of Christ in us.

And as we draw towards the conclusion of our study of God’s amazing grace, we need to take a Biblical look at this subject of peace. We need to steal away into that place of quiet rest near to the heart of God and see what there is about it that makes it so special, and what there is about us that causes us to rush from that garden so frequently and leave behind the serenity we found there. Just what is “the peace of God”? Why did Paul pray for it so earnestly? Why did he so often couple it with the word “grace”? Such are the issues we need to explore as we seek to have God’s wonderful grace an experiential part of our daily existence.

There is basically one Hebrew word in the Old Testament and one Greek word in the New used to describe this unusual quality. They are:

Mwlv shalowm {shaw-lome’} or shalom {shaw-lome’}

completeness, soundness, welfare, peace

1a) completeness (in number)

1b) safety, soundness (in body)

1c) welfare, health, prosperity

1d) peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment

1e) peace, friendship

1e1) of human relationships

1e2) with God especially in covenant relationship

1f) peace (from war)

1g) peace (as adjective)

One hundred seventy-five times in the Old Testament this word is translated “peace”. It is used a total of 236 times in all. The Greek word is:

eirene eirene {i-ray’-nay}

1) a state of national tranquillity

1a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war

2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord

3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and

harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)

4) of the Messiah’s peace

4a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)

5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its

salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and

content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is

6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death

Peace. It seems obvious, then, that it has four facets in Scripture. They are intertwined, and similar in definition, but vastly different in expression. They are:

1- The cessation of hostilities between two warring nations.

I Kings 22:44 And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel.

Joshua 9:15 ¶ And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live:

2- The cessation of hostilities between two people.

Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Psalm 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

3- The cessation of hostilities between man and God through Jesus Christ and His atoning death:

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 ¶ For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Isaiah 53: 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Ro 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

4- That inner tranquility of heart and spirit that accompanies surrendering to the sovereignty of God.

Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Jn 14:27 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.

Jn 16:33 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.

It is that fourth and final expression of peace that we will be dealing with in this lesson. All four are the result of a coming together of two groups or two people until a sense of harmony replaces conflict or contention. In the case of the first two, there is an overt need for a treaty or agreement, for two nations or individuals or families have been openly at war. In the case of man’s relationship with God, there is an inner kingdom involved, and a once for all treaty must be signed for peace to be a reality. God signed His name in blood at Calvary. All that He is waiting for is for every man and woman to come to Him and surrender to Him and accept the terms of the treaty He has outlined. When we agree to accept what He has done on our behalf, the eternal conflict between us and God is settled, and our eternal peace is guaranteed. His Spirit is given to us as the down payment, demonstrating that God has and always will fulfill His promise.

But that last kind of peace is the one defined by Strong’s Concordance as:

of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.

A “tranquil state of soul”. What a wonderful description of that quiet place, near to the heart of God. It is confident of its security and content with its lot in life. In other words, it is resting comfortably in the sovereignty of God. God’s word is secure. He will never leave us or forsake us, and He is coming for us so He can be with us. Oh, what love. And oh, what peace is ours when finally we learn to rest in that love.

Unlike the eternal peace we receive when we receive Christ: a guaranteed home in heaven where there will be no war, no sin, no grief and no pain, this tranquility of which Paul speaks so frequently, and of which Jesus speaks so powerfully, is a minute by minute experience. Always it is available. Now, what can we learn about it?

1-It is the result of focus. It is reserved for the one whose “mind is stayed on thee”. So long as we, by an act of the will, choose to take our eyes off of Jesus, we lose the peace. It is still present and available, but having not availed ourselves of it, we are the losers.

2-It is an act of faith. “Because he trusteth in thee”. That’s the reason our minds can be stayed on Him. We are confident of our salvation and satisfied with our lot in life. Therefore, having not seen, yet we believe. Therefore, the size of the rain clouds are not a problem to us. We believe the word of our God. So long as that faith does not give way to fear, the peace is available. The minute we take our eyes off of Him, and the minute we begin to doubt, even for a second, that we can trust Him totally, the peace vanishes.

3-It is all of grace. It is a gift. “Peace I give you”, Jesus said. You don’t deserve it. It is free, undeserved, sovereign and eternal. The minute you begin to rationalize your worthiness into the equation, the peace will depart from your heart. It is a gift, pure and simple. And it is totally without merit.

4- The world will try to imitate it, but they can’t. “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you”, said Jesus. The world uses physical substitutes to calm the nerves, settle the mind, or remove the evident sources of conflict that destroy the peace. None of it lasts, though. When the alcohol wears off, when the diversion has run its course, you still have to live with yourself. They refer to “peace” as any external effort to calm the stress or ease the pain. But the pain comes from the inside, beloved. It is the flesh’s reaction to the external that defies the peace. Peace only comes from God, and only a believer can have that kind of peace.

5- When you give way to fear, you lose it. “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”. Jesus was giving us the opposites of the kingdom. Fear dissolves peace. Peace overcomes fear.

6- Peace is not circumstantial, it is eternal. “In this world ye shall have tribulation”. That says it all. Tribulation is a guaranteed promise from God. It is a promise we don’t claim. We don’t like it, don’t want it, don’t even want to talk about it. But, though tribulation is guaranteed, so are we guaranteed that the very same tribulation we fear actually can produce peace. “Be of good cheer,” Jesus continued, “I have overcome the world.”

Other passages in Scripture further define this all-encompassing peace. One in particular describes its cause and effect.

Phil 4:6 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.

This confirms that:

7- Worry is the antithesis of peace. It assumes that your security and your lot in life is your problem, not God’s and you’re not sure you can handle it,.

8- Prayer is the method God recommends for relinquishing control and obtaining peace. “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known”. You take the very things that destroy your peace and you go to the throne of God and put them down. Having done this, God promises to restore peace to your heart.

9- There is no human explanation for it. “It passes all understanding”. There is no way logically to explain it. It is an internal transformation that comes from relinquishing control of the worries and fears that beset you, allowing God to replace them with something so supernatural that an unbeliever cannot experience it or even comprehend it.

We have, then, a great deal of information about the peace of God from the word of God to help the child of God stay close to the heart of God. It is a free gift that defies circumstances. It is acquired by faith, and requires keeping your heart focused on who God is, rather than on what you can see and feel and touch that is troubling you. There is no worldly equivalent or human explanation for it; it is that supernatural. Worry and fear cause it to dissolve, and prayer is the vehicle God has designed to appropriate it.

Those are the facts. Something this supernatural, however, is not limited to facts. Information can help us recognize it and respond to it, but we need to see it in action, if possible, to understand it. Let’s look for a moment at Matthew, chapter 14. The feeding of the 5,000 had just taken place. The disciples were tired, but in awe at the miracle working power of this amazing man of Galilee. It is there that we read:

Matthew 14 22 ¶ And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

The disciples were, no doubt, tired, but filled with enthusiasm. What a day. What a life. Free food for the multitudes out of nothing. You could almost hear them wanting to get the McDonald’s franchise for all of Israel. Why, make one “Big Mac” and Jesus could turn it into a mountain of burgers. No telling what He could do with french fries. Talk about a mega-meal. And no doubt, as well, they were probably thinking, now that He has performed this miracle, think of the publicity the church would have. You could just see the channel four crew following their little boat wanting interviews with the Master’s “Secret Service Agents”. Jesus put them in a boat, patted them on the head, and sent them across the sea without Him. Once their little boat was on its way, He sent the crowds away and went up into a mountain to be with His Father. He knew that place of quiet rest, and He knew that unless He kept going there and spending time with His Father, He could not maintain the peace He needed. So into the Father’s arms He fled once again.

He also knew that a storm was coming, and that little ship bearing the disciples would soon be tossed about with turbulence, and He had a lesson He wanted to teach, so He tarried until the fourth watch of the night, and then He went towards the sea and began to walk towards that little boat. That’s right. Walk. He was walking on top of the water. The disciples, no doubt fearful already over the storm, looked out and saw Him walking towards them. The passage says that at first they thought they were seeing a ghost, and they were petrified. In fact, according to the passage, they panicked.

Jesus let them. And when their panic turned to pandemonium, Jesus spoke. “It is I;” He said, “Don’t be afraid.” Peter, bless his outspoken heart, responded, “Lord, if it’s really you, let me walk on the water, too.”

Jesus replied, “Okay, Peter, start walking”. And sure enough, he could and he did. I can’t imagine what was going through his mind. Neither can I imagine what was going through the other disciples’ minds. I only know that as he proceeded, the storm intensified, and Peter began to look at the circumstances, and took his eyes off Jesus.

The minute he did (make that the second he did), he began to sink. He began to sink big time. You see, either you walk by faith or you don’t. Either you believe that God is in control, and life’s storms are totally at his disposal, or you believe that life is out of control, for no one else can make a difference. Peter took his eyes off Christ and began to sink. You can just see the water go up as he went down. You can all but hear him crying, “Glub, glub, Lord, glub, save me, glub.”

And you can all but see the Master reach out His hand and take Peter’s hand just as he was sinking into the water’s depths, and pull him up. You might expect Jesus to say, “Good job, Pete, you almost made it. Next time, you’ll be able to walk halfway across.” Don’t. Jesus wasn’t proud of Peter. He responded, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

With that, the storm relented, the winds died down, and Jesus as He reached the boat, found a group of grateful disciples who fell down and worshipped Him. For what? Well, He had not only fed 5,000 hungry mouths, He had walked on water and calmed a storm. Pretty good day, wouldn’t you say?

They loved those miracles. They loved a spiritual side-show. They loved it when Jesus found them in dire circumstances and was able to remove the circumstances. They pictured a life of ease where every problem just disappeared and life’s storms went away. They missed it. They had no reason to fear in the first place. Storms are not a problem to God, and just in case they didn’t remember that, Jesus walked on top of the water to remind them..

They lost the peace of God the minute they took their eyes off Him and looked at the winds of life. To them, the place of quiet rest was wherever the miracles were occurring. To Jesus, it was wherever He was, for He was always at rest.

Grace, remember, is God doing supernaturally what we cannot do naturally. And the natural mind cannot maintain a quiet rest. We panic over a bad decision at work and the peace is gone. We panic when the phone rings and it’s bad news, and the peace is gone. We panic when we have a job to do and we’re afraid of failure, and the peace is gone. We worry over what we can’t control, and forget that we can’t control anything. We fear the future and forget that the future is no problem to God. He planned it in eternity past, and it has never gone beyond His sovereign reign. And beloved, it never will.

What was Peter’s problem? He wanted a God who could calm storms, feed a hungry congregation, and walk on water. His confidence was in what God could do. It should have been in who God was. And our problem is the same. We’re willing not to be afraid if we know God is going to bail us out of every tough deal, and if we know that the minute we call on Him, we’ll either be able to walk on water, or He’ll calm the storm.

We are constantly looking around for new evidences that God is God. We’ll get on an airplane one time and then, after that, we’ll trust virtually every airplane and every pilot we see. By faith, we get on board, sit quietly down, and wait for the plane to take off and fly. No, we don’t understand how it works or even why it works, but we’ve experienced it and read about it, and so we trust it.

Somehow, however, we expect God to prove Himself every day. And if He won’t, we’ll worry. We’ll fret. We’ll be anxious. And the minute we do, the peace flees like a 90 mile an hour wind. It’s gone. That place of quiet rest is history. Now we’re on our own. Now, it’s up to us to make it across the ocean in that storm.

The key to a life of victory where grace is concerned is maintaining the peace of God. The peace of God, remember, is “That tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God, and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.”

What an incredible formula for peace. Satisfied in Jesus. Satisfied that your eternal destiny is settled, because God said so, and satisfied that whatever you have is all you need, and whatever happens, God is in control. Having reached that conclusion, what is there to fear? What is there to be anxious about?

It is a heart that is converted and content. That’s all there is to it. Once a heart reaches that level of confidence in the sovereignty of God, and is willing to keep the eyes of the Spirit focused on who He is, there begins to rest in that person’s life a quiet calm, a satisfied heart, and the absence of fear. That person has entered into the place of quiet rest near to the heart of God.

Bullets may fly. Bombs may fall. Rain clouds may form overhead. No matter. Jesus is bullet-proof, and Jesus owns your life. He is the only bomb shelter you will ever need. He is the only umbrella you should ever have to have. He is your covering. He is your Rock, your Fortress, your Deliverer. He is, indeed, all you need.

Beloved, enter into the rest of God today. The issue isn’t what God is going to do for you; the issue is who God is. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. You can trust Him with your life and you can trust Him with your death. He alone knows what you need to mature in Christ, and nothing can happen to you without His divine permission. In the same way, He alone knows when it is time to call you to your eternal home. There is no need to fear or worry. Enter into perfect peace.

Who made you, anyway? Who knit you together in your mother’s womb? Who has collected all your tears and saved them in a bottle? Your God. Who died for you? Who lives in you? Who ever lives to make intercession for you? Who whispers to you every time fear or anxiety enters your heart, “It is I; Don’t be afraid!”?

You know who. And He longs to hear you say, Like Paul, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live....yet not I....” You have two choices. You can try to live the Christian life in your own strength and live with fear and worry as your companions. can say to God every single morning, “Father, I do not know where you will take me today. I don’t care. I’m yours, anyway. You bought me with a price. Oh, dear God, what a price. Take me wherever you want, and take from me whatever you want. I’m yours, and I acknowledge it. And Father, you can take me home whenever you want. Only you know when that time is best.”

“So, Lord, what is there to steal my perfect peace? If my life is yours and my death is yours and my family is yours and my career is yours and my finances are yours and my health is yours, my worry bin is empty. Dear Lord, I long to enter that place of quiet rest, near to your precious heart. Please draw me this moment into that holy haven where the total weight of my being is so on You that Satan has no place to attack my armor of peace. Dear Lord, I want to enter into rest.”

That’s the first thing you have to do. You have to ask God, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. That’s your part. God’s part is everything else. God’s promise is: the peace of God that passeth all understanding shall keep you.

But that is only the beginning. That is the “Quiet Time” part. The peace will remain if “your eyes are stayed on Him”. That means that throughout the day, every day, you keep meditating through the day on who God is. Take one aspect of His nature and every day focus every time your mind is idle on one or more aspects of His character. Write Scripture on cards. Take a hymn for the day that magnifies that part of His nature and “make melody in your heart” throughout the day.

And you’ve all heard of the “Peter principle”. This is the original “Peter principle”: When you start sinking, cry out “Lord, save me!” The minute you begin to sense that the peace has fled, realize what you have done. Your eyes and your thoughts have shifted to the storm, and immediately your faith has vanished. Maybe only for a second, but that’s all it takes. Cry out to God. Ask Him to restore to you the grace of peace.

He wants to keep you in perfect peace. The keeping is His job. The peace is His peace. The grace is His grace. No, you don’t deserve it. No, you can’t earn it. No, you can’t pay Him for it. It is free, undeserved, sovereign, and eternal. But yes, you can ask Him for it, and unless you do, you will probably miss the blessing of that supernatural peace that only comes when you remain...near to the heart of God.

Practice the peace of God, beloved. Practice asking for it. Practice focusing on Him. Increase the time you spend daily with the Prince of Peace. Then determine to keep who He is before you all the day long. When the peace begins to vanish, immediately cry out. He wants you to have it. He wants to keep you in perfect peace.

There really is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God. There is no turmoil there. There is no fear there. There is no anxiety there. Life’s storms still swirl around you, but you are not sinking, you are quietly, safely walking on top of the water.

Listen carefully. See if you can’t hear The Master calling to you amidst life’s whirlwinds, “It is I. Don’t be afraid. My peace I give unto you.” He wants you to come unto Him so He can give you rest. He wants you to crawl up into His arms and let Him give you . . . Peace. Will you do that right now? And will you purpose that in ever increasing measure, you will cherish the grace of peace for as long as you shall live?

Then, beloved, the place of quiet rest is yours.

 It is well with my Soul

Words: Horatio G. Spafford, 1873.

The tune is named after the ship on which Spafford’s children perished, the S.S. Ville de Havre. Ironically, Bliss him–self died in a tragic train wreck shortly after writing this music.

"It Is Well with My Soul" is a very influential hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss. This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire that ruined him financially (he had been a wealthy businessman). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the S. S. Ville Du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with another ship, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. Spafford’s wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone.” Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.

They speak to the eternal hope that all believers have, no matter what pain and grief befall them on earth.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,

It is well, with my soul,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part but the whole,

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:

If Jordan above me shall roll,

No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life

Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,

The sky, not the grave, is our goal;

Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!

Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;

The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,

Even so, it is well with my soul.