Summary: Peace seems so elusive for so many people. True, lasting peace is found only in Jesus.
Lanier Christian Church
August 31, 2014
When Peace Seems So Elusive
25 What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.
26 I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.
It seems as if peace is so elusive for so many. Throughout our world on this very day there are civil wars and border wars and injustice and persecution of innocent people. In our nation there are constant news items reporting a variety of crimes that cause unrest. In our state we face news of job losses, traffic jams that lead to road rage, violent crimes, and social challenges.
Turn on the TV and find a program in seconds that will give you all the turmoil, fighting or violence you can handle for one evening. Search your computer and get all you can stomach when it comes to the latest Hollywood or sports world scandal and the personal stuggles they go through. Look at Facebook and read everyday where someone is expressing their frustration about having a bad day, being sick and tired of being sick and tired, or experiencing frustration that makes them want to scream. Take a poll of everyone here at church today and we would have our own list of things that rattle our cage and keep us stressed to the max.
Maybe there is someone here today who would agree with Job: "I have no peace...only turmoil."
So what do we do? Really? What do we do with ourselves when we are faced with such disarray? I consider this to be a serious spiritual matter. God never intended for us to live this way. Let's find help from God's Word today.
1. When Peace is Elusive, Trust is Essential.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. - Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)
How is your trust level these days? Are you relying more on self and not on God?
Some phrases I hear around me quite often are:
"I trust no one."
"Who can you trust?"
"I don't believe anything he says."
"I've lost all trust."
"What happened to the days when you could trust people?"
There's a former WSB-TV consumer reporter who founded his own internet business and radio show called: "TrustDale.com" So, if you can't trust anyone else, you can trust Dale Cardwell!
When our lives are filled with anything but peace, we often try a variety of other things first to try and soothe our aching hearts.
Alcohol. Tranquilizers. Food. Escape. Entertainment. Running. Exercize. Meditation. Positive Thinking.
What about prayer? What about releasing the stress and the strain and the pressure to the one who wants to free you from those burdens....Almighty God himself. Why not say a simple prayer:
"Lord, I trust in you. I give this to you...all the things that are not at peace in my life. I release it to you. I trust you can handle these matters so much better than I ever could.
Help me not to pick them up again, but to leave them in your loving care."
The end result of faithfully praying that type of prayer is that God will fill you with, not only peace, but hope as well.
Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The key ingredient to finding peace is trust.
2. Peace only comes to those who pursue it.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. - Psalm 34:14
A beginning point to experiencing peace is by trusting God.
But, then we must pursue it. We must intentionally live in a manner in which our aim is peace and not turmoil. Our pursuit must be so obvious that we have a plan. It's different for everyone, but it might be something like this:
At the beginning of every day:
- Pray - by releasing everything to God.
- Prepare - by reading the Bible for direction & wisdom for the day.
- Praise - sing or whistle or hum. Fill your mind with Christian music and faith filled lyrics that usher in peace.
A repairman came to our home last Wednesday. While I was waiting I was whistling in another room and doing some chores. A few minutes later I heard him whistling too. There's something about praise that is contagious!
Protect - Do your best, with the help of the Lord himself to protect your mind from any thoughts or influence which would potentially destroy your peace. That includes negative comments, angry responses, bitter feelings, unforgiving attitudes and destructive behavior.
Peace only comes to those who pursue it.