Peace Be Upon You

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The heart is a fragile thing. It can be broken in a multitude of ways, scarred, wounded, and pierced by the cruelest of intentions or by the most careless of actions.

So many live with the wounds of brokenness that it has become a common thread within our world. The expectation is not whether someone has been wounded but rather if they have been healed.

As you look back on life, have the wounds changed your life for the worse or for the better? Can you say that you’ve grown through what you’ve learned or does the pain persist?

If we are truly to receive the peace of God we must be in a place to accept the way God leads us in healing. We must be willing to trust Him with our wounds and see how He leads us through them. We must believe His promises no matter the circumstances. If we are to walk in peace, we must be ready to give everything to Him.

The Turmoil of Sin

The world lacks peace because of sin. Since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, mankind has known nothing but turmoil.

Mark 7:20-23 “And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

To hope for peace without acknowledging the war within is to miss where real peace begins. Adam and Eve first knew the conflict of belief. Should they believe the serpent or should they believe God’s commandments? They chose the lesser and mankind has suffered ever since that fateful moment.

The world cannot know true peace because it dwells in corruption. Sin corrupted God’s creation and now we dwell among the ruins.

True peace begins with the heart and radiates from a life transformed by God.

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

The “world” represents all who lack a relationship with Jesus Christ. The world lives by human wisdom, it seeks pleasure over righteousness, and it is controlled by satanic influence. To expect peace to come from the world is to hope for order out of chaos–you will never find it. The world might try to mimic the peace of God but the false front only serves as a way to lure the hopeful into further hopelessness.

For those who have placed their hope in Christ alone, they have found that true peace lies not in their circumstances but in the God who rules over their circumstances. This is where trust and hope is found, knowing that God’s love leads through the pain and wounds of life while true healing comes by way of repentance.

True Wisdom is found among the Peaceful

The evidence of a heart that is at peace is revealed by the spiritual maturity that follows. The more a believer learns to trust God for their past, present, and future, the more they understand that magnitude of God’s sovereignty. The greater measure of trust in God elicits an acknowledgement that God’s strength is greater than man’s strength.

James 3:13 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.”

Meekness in its simplest term is strength under control. For those who allow God’s strength to guide them, then meekness becomes the measure of God’s strength guiding and controlling your actions. God’s strength under His control. The one who has learned to submit fully in this regard finds how the peace of God overwhelms the circumstances of life.

If you learn to walk in meekness then you will know:

* The Lord is your Healer.

* The Lord is the Strength at your right hand.

* The Lord is your keeper both now and forevermore.

James 3:17-18 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

True wisdom is found among the peaceful by the way they make peace. Peace is found among the righteous. Walking according to God’s divine and moral law reveals a knowledge of the Holy–the very expression of love is given through obedience and obedience in Christ is the way of peace.

Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”

The Measuring Stick

James 3:14-16 “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.  For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”

Bitterness, envy, and self-seeking—these are the attributes of those who have never allowed God to address their pain. These are protective measures against anyone who might hurt them again. Trust was broken long ago and so to trust anyone again is to expose your heart to the same abuse you once knew.

If your trying to ease the pain by holding onto bitterness, if envy dominates your mind against your offenders, or if you’ve been trying to fill up the emptiness through self-fulfillment, then you’ve realized the hopelessness of your efforts. The enemy attempts to draw you down these paths of self-recovery but along the way the need to numb the pain becomes more acute. Substance abuse, sexual addiction, hurting others—these are all attributes of those who cannot find a way to temper the hurt.

The Lord knows your pain.

He is the means by which you can find peace, hope, and healing.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Do you still live in fear?

Fear that you might be hurt again, fear that your vulnerabilities will be exposed to ridicule, fear that others will take advantage of you?

You don’t have to live that way anymore.

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Give your past to the Lord, submit before His mighty power and let Him redeem you from the grave. The world wants only to bury you, the Lord wants to lift your head and restore your heart. He loved you enough to gives His life for you—He is trustworthy.

When you give everything to Him, you will find yourself singing along with all who have ever known Him.

Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

Your mourning will be turned to joy. Your bitterness into gladness. Your cries into a song.

Salvation is to be united with Christ by His Spirit. It takes trust, humility, and a heart of repentance to receive His peace but what you gain has far more value than all of the world combined.

Let the peace of God rule over you and not your pain—in this you will find freedom.

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