Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Pray for Peace

"Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say
The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light."

Pray for peace.

In the very troubled times we live in right now, there are many that are praying for peace.  With recent events in Paris and California, many of us live in fear of what's going to happen next.  The threat of ISIS breathes down our neck every day.  I was recently in NYC and I must admit seeing National Guardsmen with their machine guns in hand was a little disconcerting and a painful reminder that the days we live in are anything but peaceful. 

But, what kind of peace do we seek?  Are we seeking peace at any price?  Are we seeking peace with our fellowman just so we can go on about our lives - - business as usual?  Are we willing to give up our freedoms for peace?  Would we be content with temporary peace?  Are we seeking outer peace or are we seeking inner peace?

Those are hard questions to answer, but I will say one thing - the peace that we seek is not found in the absence of war.

There is a greater peace found only by those who are seeking the Prince of Peace.

True peace, real peace, lasting peace can only be found in Jesus.

Scripture admonishes us to pursue it.

"Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it."
Psalm 34:14

How do you pursue peace?  Is it something you can find and then chase until you catch it?  Do you find it by compromising your morals and standards?  Is it something you can bargain for?


You pursue peace by pursuing the only one who can impart lasting peace - Jesus.

We pursue Him and surrender to His ways.  We give up our own rights and paths and seek His.  As we seek Him and trust in Him, He imparts that peace that truly does pass all understanding.

True peace needs to happen in our hearts first.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee."
Isaiah 26:3

The problems we have in our world today did not come about because too many people own guns or because we use the wrong language in speaking (political correctness) to or about one another.  The problems we encounter in our world today are heart problems!

"Great peace have they which love thy law, and nothing shall offend them."
Psalm 119:165

We are offended because we don't have God's peace in our hearts.  The peace that comes from knowing who you are in Christ.  The peace that comes from knowing who you belong to.  The peace that comes from surrendering your "right" to all that you demand to the only one who can provide all that you need.  The peace that comes from knowing that we are forgiven.

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6, 7

I have had this blog stirring in my heart for the last couple of weeks now.  I've been thinking about it, pondering it, praying about it and seeking to live it.  But I have to admit honestly to you now, that today I am struggling with it.  I am struggling with it because I received a phone call on Friday that very much disturbed my peace and now I find myself having to forgive someone and I don't want to!

I am angry, frustrated and grumpy!!  I have not slept well for the past two nights because my heart has been very troubled.  I don't want to let go of my right to what's been taken away.  And, truthfully, it's not so much what's being taken away as it is who is now going to get it!

My peace has been robbed, yet I recognize it's only because I've been willing to give it up to carry the offense!

You see, this is where it all starts - we become offended; we choose to carry the offense; the offense becomes a resentment; the resentment builds to bitterness and soon a root has gone deep into our hearts and infects us and all we touch from that point on. Soon we are not just mad, but we are fighting and trying to enlist others in our battles.  Wars ensue and no peace comes to the heart.

"What causes fights and quarrels among you?  You want something but don't get it.  You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want.  You quarrel and fight.  You do not have, because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.  You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely. But he gives us more grace.  That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."   James 4:1-8

My problem and my struggle did not begin with that phone call.  Actually, my problem lies in the deep places of my heart that are not yet surrendered to the Lord.  The phone call only served to shine the light on that darkness and bring it to my attention.  What I now do with it is my choice.  God has given me the free will to do as I choose.  But, also lying deep in my heart is the knowledge that if I want to please my God and live in the peace that He intended for me, I have to surrender this matter, forgive and trust its finish to His hand.  The outcome may or may not change, but my heart will be secure in Him - and this - this is where true peace lies.

What is disturbing your peace today?
Won't you place it in His hands?

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