Summary: This sermon is part of our spiritual first aid series and it looks at how we go about procuring God's peace for our lives. We look at having peace with God and the peace of God, and how we have peace through God's word and forgiveness.
Spiritual First Aid
Procuring God’s Peace
Before I begin, let me say that God considers peace so important that not only did He give it as a title to His Son, Jesus, calling Him the Prince of Peace, but He also made it part of two life changing teachings. The Apostle Paul lists out peace as one of the fruits of the Spirit that is available to believers in Jesus Christ, preceded only by love and joy (Galatians 5:22-23). And Jesus taught that being a peacemaker is one of those attitudes every Christian needs to possess in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:9).
So, let’s begin by making a mental note, and picture in your mind a massive hurricane raging over the ocean and it’s coming in our direction. Violent winds are whipping the water into a frenzy, and giant waves are creating havoc and chaos everywhere. Ships are trying to get out of the way or to a safe harbor, and their crews are desperately trying to anchor down their vessels to prevent them from being beached or sunk.
The cities and towns that dot the shoreline are also in full tilt panic. People are rushing around trying to ready themselves, their homes, and communities for the coming onslaught. Others are packing up their cars and families and heading inland in an attempt to escape the coming storm.
This is not what you would call a serene or peaceful picture. But twenty feet below the surface of the water is a totally different picture. The waters are clear and calm, and the fish go about their lives completely unaware of the turmoil that is raging overhead.
There is a truism that we can take from this picture, and that is where there is depth, there’s peace.
This is probably why there is so little peace in the world, and that’s because there is no depth in its relationship with God and His word. The world is mile wide in its opinions and experiences, but only and inch deep in its understanding of God, who created it all, and the knowledge of His word.
But it is this type of peace that every human heart is yearning for, especially when faced with the storms of life. You might say that peace is one of life’s indispensable qualities and humanity’s greatest hope.
And while peace is humanity’s greatest hope, it’s really an elusive dream. We catch glimpses of it, but as soon as we do it’s gone.
We watch the news only to see how desperate this world is for peace. We have wars and rumors of wars, terror threats and bombings, coups, uprisings, and genocide. We have disharmony in our government, violence in our streets and schools, conflicts in our homes, and anxiety and stress in our lives.
In Jerusalem, the city known as “The city of peace,” there is continual conflict and war. Here’s a city claimed by most every religion out there. But, not only do they not get along with one another, they have failed to find a solution.
The world also tries to find peace, but miserably fails at it, because the only peace the world can offer is a cessation of war, which fails time and again.
Peace, therefore, is at the heart of what everyone wants. But its procurement shouldn’t be at any price, and we shouldn’t compromise our values, morals, or God’s word to achieve it, as many are so willing to do.
Many people think peace is an absence of conflict, and so they avoid divisive issues at all costs. But peace is never about running away from a problem, ignoring an issue, or pretending that the problem doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, this is at the heart of many relational problems in marriages.
But, avoiding a problem doesn’t produce peace; instead it’s like having a termite-infested house. If you don’t deal with the issue, the house won’t be standing for long.
Appeasement also isn’t the answer when it comes to procuring peace. When people yield their principles to another person’s demands, it eventually blows up in their face.
When people either avoid a problem or appease someone for the sake of peace, it isn’t really a true peace. Rather, it is a false peace that creates greater conflict.
Peace Comes Through God
Having a peace that lasts is a gift given by God, and that’s because the Lord personifies not only what peace is, but also peace itself. We see this brought out in several places. First through what the writer of Hebrews says.
“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” (Hebrews 13:20-21 NKJV)