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Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Peace In Our Time

So were the famous words of Neville Chamberlain as he stepped off an aeroplane waving the White Paper - a signed declaration off Hitler stating that (in essence) he did not intend to make war with Britain.

Of course, a few weeks later, Hitler violated his word by attacking and ultimately conquering Poland, and finally, after having slept through the rapes of Austria, the Sudentenland, Czechoslovakia and Danzig, Britain declared war on Germany.

Neville Chamberlain declared peace for his time. No war for a country choosing to close its eyes in fear of a war that it dreaded.
However, his words were truer than he realised.

There is peace in all of our times. Even in the midst of the war, in our life battles - there is peace in our time.

I mentioned not long ago that God has been teaching me trust and hope. I'm learning that peace is intrinsically bound up with these.
The possession of peace is not a result. As with love, peace is a choice - a choice to trust God with what we cling on to, to hope in His goodness. It is something He grants.

Peace from God is not just an absence of conflict. It fills, it completes.

Isaiah 9:7 reads: There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

God's peace isn't something that comes and goes. It increases - forever. There will be no end to it. *smiles* Isn't that awesome?

To have peace, our hearts must be set on God. Again, Matthew 6:33 - But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

We should have peace in our relationships. Our primary relationship is with God - we need peace with God.
Romans 5:1 - Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...

If we have peace in God, we don't have to be afraid of anything. Trust and peace come out of perfect love, because perfect love casts out fear.
1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

The second relationship is with other people. God commands us to live at peace with all men.
Romans 12:18 - If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

If we are holding anger or unforgiveness towards a person in our relationship, then we are at odds with that command.

Remorse for sin leading to repentance is right. Remorse is only good if it leads to repentance - a complete turning from sin, an about-face and a march towards the other direction.
Guilt is wrong. Guilt traps and ensnares us long after the forgiveness of God is extended towards us. We need to receive that forgiveness - albeit with thankfulness, trembling and joy at His grace.

Third relationship - we find peace with ourselves when we are at peace with God.
Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 3:5-7 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

Don't become wise in what we think God is doing for us.

Keeping communication lines open with the Lord is essential to being able to trust Him. We need to talk to God and tell Him everything we're going through; to praise Him for what He's already done. To concentrate not on the problem or storm, but also on the past and present victories.

Ephesians 4:31-32 - Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
These are key to living peaceably with God, with others and ultimately with ourselves.

Forgiveness is God coming to live inside a creature whose sin had corrupted it so much that He once hated it (by very means of His purity) - there is nothing conditional about forgiveness as it is offered; the only condition is the acceptance of it.

Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

We cannot make others be forgiven. God's forgiveness is an individual reality, as is the Christian walk. Between oneself and God.
What is more important - living at peace with God and secure in Him from the pain of being unforgiven or holding unforgiveness in our hearts, fleeing from saying sorry and not being at peace with any one of those three?

Is God real to you? What is distracting you from being at peace with God?

John 14:27 says, 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.

God should be in every area of our lives. When He is truly the centre of our being, the point of focus in every detail - He has our trust. We can hope in Him. And He will grant us peace.

Love in Christ,
Mademoiselle Siân

(With thanks to Pastor Steve Davies of Kingsmead Baptist Church
And to my arm which served as sermon paper notes. :P)