Summary: Peace comes to us a gift with several layers to unwrap.
"No man had more reason to be miserable than this one – yet no man was more joyful.
His first home was a palace. Servants were at his fingertips. The snap of his fingers changed the course of history. His name was known and loved. He had everything – wealth, power, respect. And then he had nothing.
Students of the event still ponder it. Historians stumble as they attempt to explain it. How could a king lose everything in one instant? One moment he was royalty; the next he was in poverty.
His bed became, at best, a borrowed pallet – and usually the hard earth. He never owned even the most basic mode of transportation and was dependent upon handouts for his income. He was sometimes so hungry he would eat raw grain or pick fruit off a tree. He knew what it was like to be rained on, to be cold. He knew what it meant to have no home.
His palace grounds had been spotless; now he was exposed to filth. He had never known disease, but was now surrounded by illness.
In his kingdom he had been revered; now he was ridiculed. His neighbors tried to lynch him. Some called him a lunatic. His family tried to confine him to their house.
Those who didn’t ridicule him tried to use him. They wanted favors. They wanted tricks. He was a novelty. They wanted to be seen with him – that is, until being with him was out of fashion. THEN they wanted to kill him.
He was accused of a crime he never committed. Witnesses were hired to lie. The jury was rigged. No lawyer was assigned to his defense. A Judge swayed by politics handed down the death penalty. They killed him.
He left as he came – penniless. He was buried in a borrowed grave, his funeral financed by compassionate friends. Though he once had everything, he died with nothing.
He should have been miserable. He should have been bitter. He had every right to be a pot of boiling anger. But he wasn’t.
He was joyful…He was joyful when he was poor . He was joyful when he was abandoned. He was joyful when he was betrayed. He was even joyful as he hung on a tool of torture, his hands pierced with 6 inch Roman spikes …
He embodied a stubborn joy. A joy that refused to bend in the wind of hard times. A Joy that held it’s ground against pain…."
Peace. We all seek it. We often struggle to keep it. Absence of peace often leads to frustrations, stress, and anger. How many times have you said;
I am ready to throw in the towel.
I am at the end of my rope.
I am just a bundle of nerves.
I am at my wits’ end.
I feel like resigning from the human race.
My life is falling apart.
We all battle the desire to find peace in our lives and peaceful solutions for our problems. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 14:30 “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body. ---” The lack of peace in your life will lead to stress. This can manifest itself as depression, stomach ulcers, weakened immune systems leading to colds and flu, cancer, heart disease, worsening asthma, and even skin disorders. But in order to have a peaceful heart we must begin with having peace with God.
Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.”
We cannot have peace with ourselves or others without first experiencing peace with God. Jesus died on the cross at Calvary and rose again from the dead so that we could have peace with God. A person must, through faith, accept Jesus as their savior. In doing so they are found righteous before God. This means they are in right standing with him. God finds no fault in them. If you have not taken this first step then you will never find true peace.
Once we have established this spiritual peace with God then we can find the spiritual peace within.
Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
The peace spoken of here is the spiritual peace we just discovered. It is the peace that comes from our relationship with God in whom we have right standing. We are to let this peace
rule in our hearts.
The Greek word for this type of rule is used only this one time in scripture. It is not like the way a king rules or a shepherd cares for his sheep. This word relates to an official who insures that the rules of the game are followed.