Finding God's Complete Rest For Your Life
It's a search that drives men and nations to great extremes -- the
search for peace.
So much of our time, energy and resources are consumed with
trying to find and keep peace with family members, friends and neighbors.
often, no matter how hard we try, peace eludes us. The war in our minds and hearts
rages on and on. Where can we find peace?
THE WAR WITHIN
If you are
having trouble finding peace in your life, you must first understand the source
of the conflict that is troubling you. This war within has little to do with your
surroundings and has everything to do with your soul.
The Bible says that,
apart from Christ, we are "far from God." We are actually His enemies (Col.
Since mankind was originally created for fellowship with God (Gen.
3:8, Gen. 5:1), this separation from Him robs
us of peace. Our own sinful actions leave us "without hope and without God" (Eph.
THE PRINCE OF PEACE
But God did not abandon us as if we were
strangers. Because of His great love, God sent His only Son to restore peace between
Himself and man and to die on the cross for our sins, enabling all men to come
to God the Father through Him (John 3:16-18).
The Bible calls Jesus the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah
9:6). He came to earth to bridge the gap between sinful man and a Holy god. "For
He Himself is our peace." The Apostle Paul said, "and broke down the barrier of
the dividing wall" (Eph. 2:14 NASB).
end your own separation from God by yielding your life to the Prince of Peace.
Only then can you have perfect peace in the midst of troubled times in this world
(John 14:27; Phil
If you have never known real peace, then turn to Jesus right now in
prayer. It's very simple. In fact, it's your right! The Bible says, "Some people
accepted Him and put their faith in Him. So He gave them the right to be the children
of God" (John 1:12). Become His child today!
PROMISE OF PEACE
Every day will bring new challenges to your peace. But
every day also holds a new promise of peace from God that is totally unlike the
peace the world offers.
Jesus said, "I give you peace, the kind of peace that
only I can give. It is not like the peace that this world can give. So don't be
worried or afraid" (John 14:27).
As we learn
to walk each day in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will begin to experience
the peace that is promised as part of the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal.
5:22; Isaiah 32:17). Every time anxiety creeps
into our lives, we can turn to the Lord and "God will bless you with peace that
no one can completely understand" (Phil. 4:7).
ENEMIES OF PEACE
But just as the devil tempted Adam and Eve in the
Garden of Eden, so, too, he tempts Christians to forsake God's promise of peace.
In his warfare against our souls (1 Peter 2:11),
Satan uses every strategy at his disposal to sidetrack us and rob us of our peace
(John 10:10). This is one of the primary missions
that he and his demonic host have (1 Peter 5:8).
The enemy fights us every day through the situations and people we encounter.
Satan also battles us in our internal thoughts and feelings (1
Tim. 3:7; 2 Tim. 2:22-26; 1
John 3:7-10, 12-15).
Despite these fierce battles
for our peace, we can be assured that God delights in His children and helps us
maintain our peace. Through Christ, we can come to God as our "Abba," or "Daddy,"
knowing that His love and His peace are perfect.
ENSURING YOUR PEACE
If you are struggling to find peace, you are not alone. Consider the following
scriptural advice to help you find, or regain, that missing peace:
your focus. The Bible instructs us to fix "our eyes on Jesus, who leads us
and makes our faith complete" (Heb. 12:2). As
we change our focus -- off of our problems and onto the Lord -- His peace will
fill our lives.
2. Change your circumstances. Sometimes it is necessary
to take a break from the things that trouble us, even for brief periods of time.
Even great men and women of God have at times experienced times of devastating
discouragement (1 Kings 19:3-5; 2
Cor. 4:7-10). Try altering your physical setting for a short time. Also, take
a close look at your lifestyle. You may be lacking peace simply because you are
not following God's pattern for rest.
3. Change your attitude. Are you
facing a difficult situation? The Bible says, "Whatever happens, keep thanking
God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do" (1
Thes. 5:18). Begin to thank God right now and soon you will experience His peace
in the midst of the storm.
AS YOU PRAY
"Dear Lord Jesus, I am lacking
Your perfect peace. Please help me to turn my heart and mind toward You. I know
that I am involved in a spiritual battle and that the enemy seeks to destroy the
peace I can have with God. Forgive me, Lord, for seeking peace apart from You
and strengthen me according to Your Word. Amen."
GOD'S WORD ON PEACE
"Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts
offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ
Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And
this peace will control the way you think and feel" (Phil.
SCRIPTURES FOR STUDY
23 -- A portrait of peace
John 14:1-27; Ephesians
2:14-22 -- Establishing peace in Jesus
8:6; Ephesians 4:1-3 -- Peace in the Holy Spirit
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture references are from the Contemporary English