“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:13 (ESV)
Three words which we use often in our thoughts and conversations. But does our use reflect the power and fullness of these words for us? The first is Joy and this verse should fill our hearts with rejoicing. We fully believe that these blessings are for us today just as they were available to the Christians in Rome to whom these words were written long ago. God desires to fill us with joy. God also offers to us Peace. But the peace God gives is not the peace found in this world. Peace treaties and conferences and summits all mean just one thing – lack of conflict between warring parties. The peace from God is the removal of the hostility that separates us from Him and binds us to His love. If our hearts and minds are disturbed by some crisis or difficulty, God wants to fill us with His peace. If you are wondering about your eternal future God wants to remove the uncertainty and doubt and fill us with His Hope. His joy, peace and hope are our promise today and so we give thanks God for His love.
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2 (ESV)
These words which are a blessing or prayer written by the Apostle Peter in the second letter he wrote to Christian believers in the first century. This “knowledge” is a strengthened form implying a larger, more thorough, and intimate knowledge. Our precious faith is built on knowing the truth about God. Christianity is not a mystical religion, but is based in objective, historical, revealed, rational truth from God and intended to be understood and believed. The deeper and wider that knowledge of the Lord, the more abundant is the “grace and peace”. What a great difference it makes in our lives when we come to know God and His Son Jesus Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, God brings us into His family and begins to reveal himself to us. He wants us to know Him and to keep learning more and more about Him. Our verse today promises us what happens when we learn to know our Lord better. We receive grace and peace that multiplies through knowing Him. It will be true as we learn to know Him better. What a benefit is promised to us here.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)
Don’t worry! We hear and we say this so many times in our lives. “I can’t help but worry!” we say. Why do we? One word. CONTROL. We wish to control our world and we do not like somethings that come into our world. We want to be in control and that means everything and everyone around us. Spend a little time on social media and you’ll see how full it is of people spouting off their fix-it solutions. Here is what happens: We worry, no matter what it’s about, and we chase our peace of mind and heart out the door. “Scat!” is what we say to our peace. A better way is to follow verse 6 so we can enjoy the promise in verse 7. Simple and easy (when we rely on God) is the way. Next time refuse to think for even a moment that our worries have any effect on any outcome. Acknowledge that anxiety (worry) is powerless in the realm of fixing anything. If we do, we receive a promised peace that we will not understand and it will guard our hearts and minds against renewed anxious thoughts.
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” – Psalm 4:8 (NASB)
It is a common complaint that sleep is hard to come by. Many reasons cause difficulty for some to get good restful sleep. Sleep deprivation is dangerous to the health of our bodies. When we experience insomnia or difficulty getting into the deep sleep where our bodies’ organs can rest and rejuvenate many other things can begin to happen. The list of causes is very long and the remedies nearly so as well. The Psalmist, David also wrote Psalm 3. There are certain similarities between these two songs. Psalm 3 is sometimes labeled a morning psalm (Psalm 3:5), while Psalm 4 has been called an evening psalm as we can notice in today’s verse (Psalm 4:8). In both, David is beset with suffering, injustice, and oppression. But we can see in Psalm 4 a change of attitudes in the psalmist as he worships in most difficult circumstances. David’s movement is from anxiety to assurance, as he journeys down the road of prayer and trust in God. We can trust God to keep us safe and to take our worries on Himself. We cast them on Him and He protects us while we sleep.
“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
“Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” – Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)
This promise for today is for every day. It is well worth keeping it in the top of our mind. We all face times when the peace we have is challenged by events and circumstances. What we expect fails to be what we get and our peace is gone like a puff of smoke in a sudden breeze. We resort to worry, doubts and are tempted to go down a different path. What we need instead is to grip onto and hold firmly in our mind the truth in this promise from God. Isaiah penned these words inspired by the Spirit of God. He wrote, a fixed outlook of trust in the Lord causes a peace within that the wicked can never know (Isaiah 57:21). Such trust prevents double mindedness (James 1:6–8) and serving two masters (Matthew 6:24). Perfect peace means complete, genuine peace that comes only by grace from God. As we experience this inner peacefulness our faith grows and we are encouraged to continue trusting our Lord and Savior Jesus. Let’s prepare ourselves now for today’s opportunity to exercise trust in God who is our Rock forever. Perfect peace can be ours.
“Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165 (ESV)
We don’t usually think of a law as something we love but the law of God is different. When we speak of the law of God we are not thinking of more than the ten commandments, although they are a part of what God has revealed to us. We believe that our verse can be applied to the Bible where God has revealed His thoughts on many subjects. We can truly love the truths which He has made known to us in the Bible. What happens when we love God’s word? Our verse says that it gives us great peace in our hearts and minds and protects us from stumbling. The psalmist who wrote Psalm 119, includes his regard for God’s Word in every verse. Those like himself who love God’s Word and hope in Him for salvation, enjoy great peace. We do not have to be disturbed and wonder what real truth is in any situation. We know God’s Word is true and our hearts sense the peace that he gives. It is a promise for us to remember today. Great peace comes when we love the law of God, and it makes our footing is secure.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” – Romans 5:1-2 (NASB)
Day to day we may not, very often, think about the grace in which we stand. Considering that grace in our lives is pretty much limited to the word “gracious” which, means kind, polite, civil, tactful, and courteous. Grace, however, is much more than politeness or civil behavior. Our promise in today’s verse is powerful because it explains what grace brings to us. Because of the grace God has for us we, who in faith believe in Jesus and His words, have been justified. Notice the “have been” there? It is past, it is a done deal. Being justified provides for us peace with God which is also by grace, our possession. We have such a possession of peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ and it is through Christ we were introduced by faith into this marvelous grace. We really need to think about this deeply and frequently. It is a gift which continues to develop into more gifts from God. The last promise is hope, and hope is ours because of what God has fully done for us by grace. It a hope for which we can triumph in the glory of God.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
Are these familiar words to you? They may be just the promise we need to hear these days. Because we all face uncertainty and trying times, because we all can find ways to be upset inside because of outside turmoil. When things are not as they should be, at least in our own understanding, peace escapes us. We believe that we all need to be reminded often of these promises. But first, let us understand what this promise of peace is promising perfect peace. Perfect peace may not be just the absence of turmoil. Perfect peace can be ours in the midst of upsetting challenges. Perfect peace is complete, genuine, inner tranquility which we find when we trust the word of God. There are so many influences and distractions in this world to interrupt our thinking and to disturb our peace. Remember, who is it that benefits from God’s peace? It is the person who trusts in God because those who trust in God focus their thinking on God’s faithfulness and this gives their minds a real steadfastness. Steady thinking is really a part of real peace. Let’s keep our minds steady today, trusting the Lord.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27 (NASB)
Jesus, when he was nearing the time of His arrest, illegal trials and Roman crucifixion demanded by the mob, spent some hours with the twelve who He appointed as Apostles. He promised them (and us) many things and taught them (and us) even more. He knew they did not yet comprehend and that soon they would flee in terror confused and deeply saddened. So he says, I have something I am leaving with you. It is my peace to settle your heart. It is like no peace you have ever found on this earth. Peace is the third of the first three fruit of the spirit. Love, Joy and now Peace. Jesus is the source for all of those. When our lives demonstrate Love and Joy and Peace because of our obedience to His teaching we are producing the fruit of the Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit of God within us that gives us the desire and the ability and the power to overcome the most difficult times and respond with Peace in our hearts. Why? Because Jesus has left it there for us. He faced some very difficult moments soon after so He knew what He said.