John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

 I have listened to so much bad local and world new lately that it’s enough to make you put your hands over your ears and S-c-r-e-a-m!  I want to cry with the prophet Jeremiah,Peace, peace!…when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14) There is little Peace among the nations of the world today. As  Jesus reminded us,  “there will be wars and rumors of war,” until he comes.

Right now, our young men and women are fighting against terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq…while here at home security at airports has gotten tighter and tighter in an attempt to prevent another 9-11. Israel is not completely at peace and it looks like it won’t be for a long time to come. With fifty-five Muslim nations surrounding you and praying for your demise, or should I say extinction it must be difficult to sleep at nights.

Perhaps you’ve heard it before but it bears repeating; that over the past 5500 years there have been over 15,000 wars? During that same basic period of time eight thousand peace treaties were broken. Each of these treaties was supposed to last forever but on the average they only held together less than two years. It makes you wonder what will happen with the thirty year peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. If the wrong government gets in power will it be worth the paper it’s written on?

Stress- Ridden Times

All the war monuments we build after every war and all the speeches by ambassadors and political pundits are enough to make you lose all hope in so called ‘Experts.’ Some of us can remember all the hoopla about;” if we can only get our children Educated;” but two world wars shot that pipe dream down in flames.

And have you read any Local newspapers lately. The episode in Panama City some weeks ago where a crazed man turned a gun on members of the board of education  is just the lid ratting on a boiling pot.  Drugs wars, political unrest, domestic violence have not diminished either.                                                                                                                                                                  -3-4 million women are beaten by their husbands every year.         -2.7 million children are battered, maimed, murdered, or seriously neglected every year in this country.

If that isn’t enough bricks to carry many are worried about their job, their health, their children, their insurance. Not surprising, panic-anxiety is the number one mental-health problem for women in the United States and in men it is second only to substance abuse? I wish I could say I’m surprised but I can’t because stress has become a way of life. It is the rule rather than the exception. We live in stress-ridden times

 Well, all this depressing information shows that Peace is something that we all desperately need and want…which is why untold millions of dollars are spent annually in search of peace. I mean…every year thousands of people seeking personal or family peace flock to professional counselors. Diplomats fly around the world pursuing peace between nations. Our court systems are jammed with cases arising from a breakdown of peace between individuals or corporations. But spending all this money on these various peace pursuits has not worked…because the truth is—peace is not something that you Purchase. It is something that you Receive.  Peace, the kind of peace we all need and yearn for—is a gift…a gift that God lovingly bestows upon  all those who cast their cares upon Him.

The peace that Christ gives is a miraculous peace that passes human understanding. It’s an inner calm in spite of all the circumstances that would normally cause us stress. It’s like the calm in the eye of a hurricane…perfect stillness and peace while storms rage all around.

That’s what the peace that Jesus gives us is like! It is a peace that exists even as the storms and waves of life break over us.

But of course the best “picture” of the gift of peace that Jesus brings us is seen when the disciples were out on the stormy Sea of Galilee. They feared that their boat was soon going to become their tomb. But to Jesus it was like a rocking cradle.

Where Inner Peace Begins

True inner peace begins by having Peace With God. This we do by personally inviting Jesus as Savior into our heart. Peace with the Prince of Peace is the only lasting peace.  Now, while we must keep ourselves informed, we must maintain a balance in our lives. You can go too far with any good thing.  

Philippians 4:8-9  puts it this way, Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things….and the Peace Of God will be with you.

You see, when we focus our minds on things that are Not true or noble or right or pure or lovely or admirable … then we can lose our peace. For example, a person who watches only daytime talk shows in the morning and soap operas in the afternoon and reads nothing but romance novels, and newspapers is not going to have peace of mind. A person who looks for peace by looking at the state of the world around them is  going to become  cynical rather than hopeful.

What I am saying is that God’s peace is something we can lose if we feed our minds on things that are not rooted in Him. So…we must discipline ourselves to look at life through the perspective of His Word. If we are to enjoy the Peace of God we need to learn to keep the SON in our eyes…we must think on the right things! He is in control. He is all-powerful!

Like the Psalmist said;

 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life! Whom shall I dread?” (Psalm 27:1)

There was a movie out some years ago called My Bodyguard. It was the story of a teen who had no peace at school because of a gang of bullies who constantly threatened him. Then he heard of a boy in the school who everyone feared…even the bullies. He was huge and strong…but he never said anything. Nevertheless everyone trembled in his presence. Well, the teen boldly befriended this big guy. They became close friends…and he agreed to serve as his bodyguard. Here’s a picture of the two. From then on he never feared the gang of bullies again…He trusted in the power of His friend to protect and care for Him. Well, we have a “bodyguard” of sorts…in our Heavenly Father. He is more than able to handle anything that could happen to us. Before the trials of life get to us, they have to go through Him. When we realize this…we come to see that peace comes not from the absence of problems but from the presence of our all powerful, all loving Heavenly Father.

We learn that as Psalm 34 says,

 “I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them. O taste and see that the Lord is good. How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”

The great prophet Isaiah said,

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You,” (Isaiah 26:3).      

Do you remember the first Apollo moon launch decades ago? If you weren’t around then—perhaps you read about it. Well, the Apollo astronauts were very closely monitored. And the amazing thing is that at the time of lift-off their pulse rate was the same as just before or just after. That is the kind of peace and calmness God wants to give us all in the storms of life.

 Have a Blessed Week:

 The Prince of Peace is Only a Prayer Away!

 Pastor Bob