As we embark on another New Year, do you wonder what tomorrow will bring? Do you find it hard to maintain your peace about the future when most of what you hear is bad news?
By steadily trusting Christ and obeying His Word in daily circumstances, we maintain our peace, with its freedom from agitation, anxiety and anger, even in the most turbulent circumstances. If we turn from trusting and obeying Christ, we lose it. If we turn back and confess our sin, He restores it. If we deny our sin, He lets creeping restlessness trouble us—until we stop pretending and confess (Ps. 32:3-5). These are the simple but unchanging rules that regulate the "way of peace."
The presence or absence of our peace also reveals God's will. Peace marks the thoughts, words, activities and relationships He approves; persisting confusion or agitation marks those He disapproves. Thus our peace is a sure, impartial judge, ruling our relationship to Christ with a perfect accuracy we can safely trust. Paul urges us to let peace "rule" our lives (see Col. 3:15). Is God's peace ruling, controlling and guiding you?
Inner peace is part of the spiritual inheritance Jesus left us: "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you" (John 14:27). It confirms we're experiencing true kingdom living, not mere religious rule keeping. It's "fruit of the Spirit," or evidence the Spirit is present and having His way in us (Gal. 5:22).
Like John the Baptist, God's true messengers "guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:79). We should therefore earnestly "pursue the things which produce peace" (Rom. 14:19). Jesus weeps when we ignore His appointed "visitations" of peace or our opportunities to renew our peace by drawing near Him every morning (Luke 19:41-44).
As we continue doing so, God continues to "fill" us with more of His peace (Rom. 15:13). It supernaturally "keeps" (guards) our minds, even in very stressful situations, if we steadily commit all cares to God through believing prayer (Phil. 4:6-7). Christ "speaks peace" to us by bringing Scriptures to mind that explain our adversities and reveal what He wants us to do (Ps. 85:8).
God sends fresh supplies of peace to reassure us to stay faithful when others are abandoning Him (Ps. 125:5). He also renews our peace whenever we receive forgiveness or healing, do good works, win spiritual battles, complete tests or witness God's fulfillments.
Peace always accompanies God's wise guidance: "All her [wisdom's] paths are peace" (Prov. 3:17). Whoever sows God's Word will be "led forth with peace" (Is. 55:12). Faithfully obeying God's commands brings "peace ... as a river" (Is. 48:18). Continuing peace confirms we are becoming spiritually mature, fully sanctified by the "God of peace" (1 Thess. 5:23). Meditating on God's faithfulness imparts "perfect peace" (Is. 26:3). Loving God's Word prevents offense and imparts "great peace" (Ps. 119:165). Consistently yielding to Jesus' lordship brings "abundance of peace" (Ps. 72:7), ensuring we'll be "in peace" when He appears (2 Pet. 3:14). Ultimately, we and our children will "delight" ourselves in peace—forever! Thus, peace is a huge blessing.
Nothing is worth losing it. It kept Jesus tranquil through everything: long obscurity, public scandal, even the cross. And He's passed it on to us.
Have you received His peace? Are you pursuing "the things which make for peace" (Rom. 14:19)? Is peace ruling your decisions, activities and controversies? Is it increasing, decreasing or absent? Follow its stabilizing guidance until the gospel, God and Son of peace establish you in the "way of peace."
Adapted from Water From the Rock—Daily Devotions for Disciples—Volume Three by Greg Hinnant, copyright 2014, published by Creation House. If you are parched for fresh, flowing, biblical insights that will revive your trial-weary heart and slake your thirst for Jesus, this book is for you. It contains Spirit-illuminated, biblical water that will help sustain and guide you through your wilderness trials to the Promised Land of Christian maturity. To order your copy click here.
Prayer Power for the Week of Jan. 19, 2015
As you pray this week let the peace of God rule in your heart. Thank Him that He is the Prince of Peace, has given you His peace and has promised that though you may have tribulation in this world, He has overcome the world and you can as well. Continue to lift up the nation and its leaders, the persecuted church, our allies and Israel. Pray more fervently for worldwide revival, beginning with our own nation, and ask for more laborers for His harvest fields (John 14:27; John 16:33).