Summary: There is a great misunderstanding of true peace. Peace is not the absence of problems. It is instead God's power to live through and above those problems. God gives us wholeness when He indwells believers with His Holy Spirit.
Intro: A therapist told their patient the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what they start.
So far today, they finished 2 bags of chips and a chocolate cake. They said, “I feel better already.”
There are lots of people giving advice and writing books about peace today. Peace is often talked about as the absence of things. Some of those things would be violence, conflict, pain, suffering, war. Peace is not just the absence of certain things. Spiritual biblical peace is the presence of Jesus not the absence of outward issues.
This is one of Jesus’ farewell addresses with the keynote fear not. But why are we to not fear? Is he going to make everything perfect in our life? No!! Did everyone get along with Jesus? Of course not he actually aggravated some people to the point they wanted to crucify Him! Already we have said that peace is not the absence of things but the presence of a right relationship with Jesus Christ. Adrian Rogers said so powerfully, “Peace is not the subtraction of problems but the addition of power to face and overcome them.”
The word Shalom – Wholeness
The word of confession – Jesus
I. Peace is given by the Lord (My peace I give to you) John 14.27
A) A different peace – My peace I give to you, not as the world gives.
Romans 5.1 It is because of His work for us and in us that we are whole. God desires to give you wholeness. He is not the one that keeps you from peace in your struggle. Since the cross the stretched pierced arms of Jesus were open to you to make you whole. The world says peace only comes when the conflict ends. Jesus says I offer you the gift of wholeness in the conflict.
B) A definite peace – “your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”
Habakkuk 2:4 God tells us that the just shall live by faith. Faith is a trust in the goodness of God that keeps our hearts from being fearful about situations or results. Faithfulness as followers of Jesus depends on living by faith because of the peace God gives us. This distinct peace is based on Jesus finished work on the cross. He said it is finished. Colossians 1:20 “Our Lord made peace through the blood of the Cross.”
This is all the peace with God. What is missing today in so many Christians lives is the peace of God. Peace with God is based on Jesus atoning work on the cross it can never be taken away.
II. Peace is grown by learning to lean
Peace with God is given. Peace of God grows. The peace of God is experiential. It is in the growing nearness and likeness to Jesus that this peace grows.
A) We learn to be satisfied
I have learned to be content in whatever condition Philippians 4.10-14
Contentment isn’t based on things that change. It is based on walking with Jesus and discovering He really does meet all our needs. Jesus is bigger than my need to eat, have clothing, or a place to lay my head. When we discover this truth we can grow in our trust of Jesus.
A passing hunger for the things of this world comfort, lack of conflict, recognition, wealth, brings a short and shallow satisfaction. When you are full on worldly snacks when it is time to feed on the bread of life you have no appetite. Deep lasting satisfaction comes from continually feeding you mind and soul the truth of Jesus. Do you ever wonder why God gave Moses an incomplete sentence to tell the Israelites who He is? I am seems to need something following it. If you are lost he says I am the way, if you are confused He says I am wisdom, if you are afraid He says I am with you, if you hurt He says I am your healer. Whatever you face in this life He says I am and you fill in the blank. He is everything.
B) We learn to cast our cares on Jesus
Then the Lord’s peace will keep your hearts and minds Philippians 4.6-7 (learn to let God have it)
We give our burdens to someone who can carry and control what is going on in our lives. So what is it that is weighing you down? What seems to smother your peace? Anxiety, worry, or fear block and strangle thoughts of faith. Why did Jesus tell us to cast our cares on Him? Casting our worries on someone else or letting control of the situation go is not natural. It must be learned through the instruction and revelation Jesus gives us. We try to strangle hold the outcome and Jesus wants us to learn to take His hand.