Summary: As we grow in Christ, we can experience true peace!
• SLIDE #1
• WE are in the midst of our series entitled WHO AM I BECOMING? When you give your life to Jesus, your life should be and will be different as we allow ourselves to be molded into the image of Jesus. Each day we should reflect Him more than the previous day.
• One of the things that you will find as you work through the transformation process is that as you are being transformed, you will see so many rich blessings that will result.
• We live in a very fast paced, at times chaotic world. Many folks struggle with ongoing anxiety about life.
• Anxiety can cause a great number of physical as well as psychological issues.
• The publication, Harvard Health Publications from the Harvard Medical School states:
• Research on the physiology of anxiety-related illness is still young, but there's growing evidence of mutual influence between emotions and physical functioning.
• Yet anxiety often goes unidentified as a source of other disorders, such as substance abuse or physical addiction, that can result from attempts to quell feelings of anxiety.
• And it's often overlooked in the myriad symptoms of chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or migraine headache.
• Anxiety has now been implicated in several chronic physical illnesses, including heart disease, chronic respiratory disorders, and gastrointestinal conditions.
• When people with these disorders have untreated anxiety, the disease itself is more difficult to treat, their physical symptoms often become worse, and in some cases they die sooner. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/anxiety_and_physical_illness
• God does not want you to be enslaved to anxiety, He wants you to experience something much better, PEACE.
• Today we are going to examine the issue of peace. Would it not be nice to be able to deal with the chaos of life in a non-chaotic way?
• Life can throw you for a loop, but how would you like to be able to deal with those loops without being destroyed or destroying others around you?
• In Christ, you can defeat anxiety and enjoy true peace! Before we dive into our text, I want to begin by…
• SLIDE #2
I. Defining peace.
• There are a few ways to look at peace, one of the popular views of peace is absence of war or strife.
• If you are in a home were there has been a lot of tension, peace would be defined as the absence of conflict.
• Dictionry.com defines peace as, “the normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world.”
• The word we translate PEACE in the NEW Testament writings goes a bit deeper than simply an absence of war.
• Think about this, even if there is an absence of war, are there tensions? We see tensions between countries that are not at war, unfortunately we see it many homes also.
• The Greeks and Romans pictured peace as an ideal state that a hero achieved through war.
• This led to a common adage, “If you wish peace, prepare for war.”
• By contrast, the Stoic philosophers which began in the early fourth century, conceived of peace as an inward tranquility.
• The Stoics were closer to the biblical meaning.
• God has something better to offer to you than absence of war.
• The basic feature of the Gk. concept of εἰρήνη is that the word does not primarily denote a relationship between several people, or an attitude, but a state, i.e., “time of peace” or “state of peace,” originally conceived of purely as an interlude in the everlasting state of war.
• n the New Testament, the concept of peace is consistent with the Old Testament in that it refers to prosperity, which climaxes in the peace the Messiah brings.
• Peace gives one freedom from all anxiety.
• When you are trying to bring someone to Jesus, ask them how it would feel to be free from anxiety? Jesus can offer that, but there is something we all need to know.
• Peace something that we can only achieve through a relationship with God.
• As we unfold our text, we will see why this a vital component to one being able to enjoy true peace.
• The Apostle Paul dealt with a lot of difficult times once he began to follow Jesus.
• Yet he was able to not let the stuff going on around him to shake him. A few verses down in our text in verse 12, he speaks of being able to be content with much or little, that can only happen when one is at peace!
• Can you imagine who discouraging it would be to see problem and persecution BEGIN with you started following Jesus?
• When you are in Christ, what can stop one from enjoying the peace that God? What can keep you from having an anxiety free life?