Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Path to Peace

Peace—what is it and where is it? Is it guaranteed to all people? Can human beings find peace with each other? Can souls find peace with themselves?

The world we live in cannot and does not offer us any peace. Nations are at war. Rulers reign with terror over the inhabitants of their country. Bombs detonate, leaving families homeless. Gunfire kills one or many individuals. Where is peace?

Living in a land ruled with peace doesn’t guarantee peace. Disturbed persons can disrupt the peace at any time. Even dwelling within safely guarded communities doesn’t promise peace within the souls of mortal beings. Where is peace? 

Let’s be frank. Peace cannot be obtained in this world because the lord of this world is Satan. All he has to offer is noise, agitation, distress, conflict, war, and death. He may disguise his offerings in pretty promises of prestige and pleasure, but in the end, if we’ve accepted his gifts, we’re left as pathetic and pitiful creatures. Where is peace?

Peace comes from God. The Lord is peace. How can we know that He is peace and promises to give us peace? From Genesis to Revelation, His Holy Word repeatedly extends peace, rest, calm, and quiet. Specifically in the book of Judges, peace appeared to be fleeting, even though God continually offered it. Why was peace so elusive? Because the people did not KNOW God!

God called Abraham to be the father of many nations, giving the name of Israel to His people. He designated them a special people, asking them to follow His commands leading to rest and assurance. Time and again they chased anything but God, seeking contentment in all the wrong places, discovering conflict instead. Disobedience brought discontent.

Later as Moses led the Israelites away from their Egyptians captors, God created a miraculous pathway to peace. A short time later they again chose to seek fulfillment in idols. After forty years God provided them a land of promise, asking for their faith and obedience. But they chose to assimilate with the people around them rather than obey God and peace again eluded them. Why? The answer can be found in the book of Judges. 

The book of Judges describes lives involved in the cycle of sin. The cycle consisted of sin, bondage, repentance, devotion, followed again by sin and bondage. Peace was short-lived as the people inconsistently obeyed God’s way of life; they did evil in His sight. The sixth chapter of Judges relays how God allowed the Midianites to oppress the Israelites for seven years because of their disobedience. Then the Israelites cried out to God and He sent a prophet to them saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. Also I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.” But you have not obeyed My voice.’” (verses 8-10 NKJV) Because of their refusal to yield to God’s way, restlessness abounded in the lives of the Israelites.

Are you restless? Is your life anything but calm and tranquil? Are you living without serenity? Is your life in a cycle of sin? Where is your peace? Do you KNOW the God of peace?

Spend some time with Him right now. Let Jesus know how you have sinned against Him (He already knows, but tell Him anyway). He’s waiting to hear from you. Go ahead and get started. Use His own words to speak to Him, and then let His words fill your mind with the peace that passes all understanding.

Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it. 
Psalm 34:14 (NKJV)

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not my enemies triumph over me.
Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed;
Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.

Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.

Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;
According to Your mercy remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
  Psalm 25:1-7 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)

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

Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace. 
Proverbs 3:17 (NKJV)

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  John 14:27 (NKJV)

I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in Me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.”  John 16:33 (CEB)
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 (NKJV) 
For He Himself is our peace....  Ephesians 2:14 (NKJV)
.....and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7 (NKJV)
.....and he reconciled all things to himself through him—
        whether things on earth or in the heavens.
            He brought peace through the blood of his cross.
Colossians 1:20 (CEB)
“Peace comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the presence of God.”  ---quote from Alexander Maclaren                                 
The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.  Psalm 29:11 (NKJV)                                                                                       
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you; 
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” 
Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.”  Psalm 122:6 (NKJV)

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