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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Garrison for Unsettled Times

At its root, peace is not a feeling, but a confidence. Peace may produce calm feelings; but it is more accurately a secure knowledge and trust. When we are in the midst of some tragedy or great trial or catastrophic circumstance, we cannot predict the emotions which will sweep over us. But we can have a steadfast assurance, deep in the center of the soul, that God is in control, that He only does what is right, and that He promised sufficient grace until the end of the world.

Those who have a certainty that their Christ will see them through need not rely on the fleeting tide of emotions. The knowledge that is theirs provides the resolve to trust, the strength to rest. There are too many situations in life where it would be impossible to have a peaceful “feeling” but in which the peace of God is a rock that never washes away.

We might feel grief at begin separated by death from parents, spouse, or child. Yet the assurance that God now holds them in heaven and that He has promised strength for the day brings the consolation of peace.

We might fear the thought of the unknown – losses, trials, persecution. But the conviction that there is no particle of life which can separate us from God gives a bedrock of peace to the soul.

It is interesting that there are so many Bible passages which refer to peace. The Psalms are full of them. Jesus, our Lord, spoke of peace. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth...... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27) Did you notice He said "don't let" your heart be troubled. It is an active choice.

The entrace of sin into our world brought the destruction of peace. Jesus came to return the gift of peace to those who follow Him -- a peace built on relationship with God.

Children know peace because they trust. If the child knew the "why" he would not be the child; he would have the knowledge and responsibilites of the parent. I think I am glad to be God's child and be content with trusting and not knowing; that way, He will handle the responsibility associated with the knowledge.

God knows that the circumstances around us cause our foundations to shake. Like the loving Father He is, He reassures us. "God is our refuge and strength.....Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea" (Psalm 46:1-2)

Here are some of my favorite "peace" passages: God's very words to us. Ingesting these promises is a feast for the anxious soul. They remind us that the confidence and trust we have in God will be a garrison -- a stronghold against the enemy and the fear that represents the kingdom of darkness. They teach us to grasp the strong hand that peace offers. They fortify the soul.

Proverbs 14:26 "In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge."

Proverbs 3:26 "For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken."

"And the peace of God, which transcends all our powers of thought, will be a garrison to guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Phillipians 4:7) (Weymouth)

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful reminder! I needed it!

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  2. This is a truth that the world seems to know nothing about. I am so glad you took the time to remind us that real peace is trust. Christians should not be the ones in a panic over a situation. I can testify to God's peace in my life through circumstances that sometimes leave me in tears. Peace is so much deeper that a happy feeling.

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  3. Wonderful post...thanks for sharing it with us! Very encouraging...I often wonder how people make it in this life without God's awesome peace!

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  4. I have visited your blog for the 1st time after hearing you speak at Marengo. Very nice. I have just started my blog and will use your tips to help me. Thanks.

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