Summary: Many have been sold a bad bill of goods about God's peace. It is not about the absence of problems. It is about the presence of God's power to make us calm when all hell breaks loose.
Read Ephesians 6:14-20
Read Matthew 21:44
How many of you ever go somewhere and purposefully try to buy broken things? If you are like most people if there are scratches, broken packages or missing parts or items we don’t want it. Most of us don’t set out to find the most broken down car, home, boat.
We don’t like conflict, loss, suffering or struggle. If you read closely in your new testament that is exactly what you are promised from Jesus.
John 16:33 (read) This doesn’t make sense does it? I have told you these things so that you might have peace? In this world you will have suffering. Wait a minute I signed up for salvation not suffering.
Jesus made it clear if we will live for Him there will be suffering.
John 15:18-25 (read) Here Jesus gives us a promise of hatred and persecution!!
2 Timothy 3:12 If you want to live Godly you will be persecuted!
Psalm 23:4 (read)
We have to say whoah!! This does not harmonize with what Jesus said about peace!
We have to ask the question if Jesus offers us peace why do things feel so broken. It is probably because you were sold a false bill of goods on peace. Let’s define it so that we can understand what God does for us, in us and through us in the Gospel of peace.
Peace comes from a Hebrew word that was a greeting. Shalom was the word used. The word means that all the parts and or parties are properly joined together.
This makes complete sense in light of sin. As sinners we are separated from God. When we confess our sin and receive Jesus as Lord we are properly joined together with God by the blood of Jesus!! Our relationship with God is no longer broken. When God really reveals this to us it will cause our hearts to break.
Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.”
The devil wants us broken but doesn’t want us to realize that we are broken. Broken marriages, families, friendships, work places, etc.
It is in our brokenness that the gospel rings clearly with the powerful voice of God. His voice thunders into our brokenness as he speaks life and healing over His Children. It is the cracks and scars that reveal to others the depth of our trust. If our lives are perfect and we never endure pain, hardship, persecution, loss then many will not believe in our trust in God. Anyone can make claims of trust when everything is easy. It is the claims of trust that come when everything falls apart that allows the light of God to shine through the darkness of this life. This passage is not mainly about evangelism but transformation!
One of the most important parts of the roman soldiers was their shoes. They did not walk on concrete sidewalks or grassy yards. They walked through very rough ground. It was often filled with stickers and sharp rocks. The soldiers had to protect their feet with sandals that were ¾ inch thick and had nails on the bottom to give them firm footing. The soldiers couldn’t make their 20 mile marches if their feet were sore or beat up and broken. The devil sets up traps in our daily walk with God. If we put the gospel of peace as our shoes we will walk the right way and to the right places.
The gospel of peace clearly tells us God accepts broken things.
I. God accepts broken things
Broken people, broken relationships, broken dreams, broken families. God makes clear that He is in the business of accepting broken things.
Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.”
A) Peace brings security not ease
God doesn’t just accept broken things He keeps them. John 6:37, Matthew 28:20, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5. The amazing thing about the gospel of peace isn’t about us being whole but God giving us wholeness. Wholeness has never been an outside problem but and inside problem.
Being broken and humble does not lead to being wrecked, immobilized, crushed, hardened or embittered. When God gives us the security of His peace we don’t carry anger, fear of punishment or lowered self-esteem that characterize the bitter person.
B) Peace brings stability not ease
God’s peace is not about subtracting the problems and pressures from your life. God’s peace is about adding the power of the resurrection to your life so that your feet will be stable upon the rock of God Jesus Christ!!
The devil will use hidden sticks of doubt and discouragement. These are designed to distract us from the peace Jesus gives. In John 16:33 Jesus says don’t lose heart, I have overcome the world. Don’t be discouraged, my peace is enough to be stable no matter what you face.