From the very beginning God created us to live in peace and harmony with Himself in the Garden of Eden. It was His original plan. Everything was good, it was very good. Then sadly we fell, and the peace was shattered and it seemed that there was no way back.
In His mercy and love for us, He made a way back into that place of peace and safety. A place of tranquil quiet where we are reconciled back to Him. We are at one with Him in a place where we can rest and know that He is with us and He is all powerful. He is all powerful. I underline and say that again because so often we want to shrink the almighty God to the size that we can understand. We think of Him in human terms forgetting that He alone is sovereign. He is the controller of the universe. God the Father and God the Son are seated in Heaven reigning over their creation. Nothing is impossible for them and their plan to redeem and restore us will not be thwarted. It is done! The Love of God is all powerful and overcomes all evil. Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ all powers of darkness are defeated, yes defeated, and through Christ that resurrection life is ours.
Jesus said in John 14:27
All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.
These words are spoken in the context of Jesus giving His precious disciples words of encouragement. He knows that He is going to die and they will go through so much fear and turmoil as they haven’t fully grasped that He must die for them to live. They don’t really understand, they don’t yet appreciate that He will rise again. He urges them to trust Him, to trust Him no matter what. It is this peace that He gives to them, to us that we may know that no matter what the world is saying, what matters is what God says. Our faith, our trust, our hope can only be in Him. As we understand and appreciate that Jesus is the only way to the Father, as we love and obey Him, we will know that peace. A peace that comes as we surrender, surrender all to Him Who is the Prince of Peace.
I was blessed as a little girl with a father who wasn’t fazed by too much and whenever I managed to get myself into some kind of trouble, I knew I could always turn to him. I also knew he would listen and then say to me, “OK we can work this out.” He always helped me find a way. I know I was really blessed as this isn’t always the case, but I can say with absolute conviction and certainty that our Heavenly Father will always listen and always show us the way. Sometimes His way takes us out of trouble and other times He has to show us how to deal with the consequences of our mistakes but there is always a way of hope and peace. I am so often reminded of Psalm 18:36.
You broaden the path beneath me,
so that my ankles
do not turn over.
This peace that our God gives to us goes way beyond, far deeper than a peace the world can ever know or offer. It is freedom from all the gnawing doubts, silent fears, ugly jealousies, petty offenses and even the deepest hurts. It is a peace that brings comfort and confidence knowing that our God is faithful and powerful, forgiving and generous and as His daughters He gives it all to us. Belonging to God means peace. As the Lord, Who chose the Israelites, and gave them peace, He gives that same peace to those He has called today and chosen Peace. Without Jesus there is no peace and as the Israelites chose to follow God and enjoy peace so too we make a choice to believe and follow Jesus. There is no other way !
And what does God require of us? To trust Him, to follow Jesus and live in obedience to His ways. It is in this world that is fraught with aggression, a demand for rights and a general chaos that overrides the individual and often causes alienation, fear and a sense of hopelessness that Christ called us to be instruments of peace.
Paul writes in Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Holiness is essentially being set apart for God’s purpose, and what is that purpose, but to bring reconciliation between Himself and man, restoring peace and defeating the works of Satan. So often we speak of spiritual warfare and think of it as aggressive, confident payer while in reality our making every effort to be at peace with all men is far more effective and powerful. Satan would stir anger, hatred, fear and strife but Jesus brings gentleness, love, courage and peace. A soft answer turneth away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1)
The world’s way promises nothing, but God’s way promises everything we could ever hope or wish for. Phillipians4:6 The peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Again, the context of these words reveal the great need for us to be at one with our God and each other as we trust our God in every situation for He will meet our needs. He is our defender, He is our all and surrendered to Him we will know Peace !
May the Prince of Peace fill your hearts with joy as you yield to His tender guidance, His powerful protection and His grace that has set us apart to be a holy, royal priesthood where He and He alone rules supreme.
God bless and have a good week!