Finding Peace In Relationship
Living peacefully with people depends upon genuine concern for the other person. Look for ways to help him or her and to encourage and to bless. You’d be surprised how things improve.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing Alright today? Well, I trust so. Bless your heart. I’m glad to be back with you. This is your good friend, Bob Cook.
We’re still looking at 2 Peter Chapter 3. And the last time we got together we were talking about Peter’s remark that we ought to be a certain kind of people; what manner of persons ought ye to be and all holy lifestyle and godliness, and we were talking about godliness, you remember?
The mystery of godliness, something that you work at; profitable both in this life and the life to come is related to what you really believe, what you’re willing to die for. And godliness can be added by faith to your life and character. Alright, now, in continuing that, he says, “we according to his promise look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord”, that’s the reason He doesn’t come, right away, His longsuffering is related to salvation.
That’s what He’s interested in. Early on, he said God is not slack concerning His promise, but His long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So, he said just remember that. He says if there’s a delay in His coming and there has been so far — he says remember God is interested in salvation and He’s wanting to gather in some more into the fold.
Now, a new heavens and a new earth, Revelation chapter 21 gives you a pretty good description of what that’s going to be like. Revelation 21, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away and there was no more sea, and I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride, adorned for her husband. Heard a great voice out of heaven saying behold the tabernacle of God is with men and he will dwell with them and they shall be his people and God himself shall be with him and be there God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes and there shall be no death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain for the former things are passed away. Behold,” he said “I make all things new.”
And then he describes the city. I won’t go into that description because that takes up a good deal of the rest of the chapter. Heaven is going to be a wonderful place but the wonder of it is not going to be its architecture build of it. It’s going to be the fact that God is with us. He’s our God. And the results of the curse of sin, death and pain and sickness and sorrow and crying, all of that will be gone forever, hallelujah, and you and I will be together with our blessed Lord for all eternity. So, he said, “We look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
Now, if or rather sins, seeing that since you look for such things, be diligent. Now, work at this. Diligent means work at anything until it’s done. Work at this what: that you may be found by Him when He comes. How is He going to find you? What condition will you be in when our blessed Lord comes? That’s the question that Peter is raising here. And that’s pretty important.
Do you remember your own childhood any of you when you were doing something that you oughtn’t to have been doing? You know you were into the cookie jar or the jam pot or you were playing with grandpa’s spectacles, or you were tossing up some object that was breakable, as children will do. You’d gotten into something and all of a sudden you were aware of a presence and there behind you was your mother, or perhaps your father; in my case it’ll be my father.
And you were suffused with embarrassment and, well, a little bit of fright, actually. What’s going to happen? You know, am I going to get spanked for this. How will you be found? What condition will you be in when our Lord Jesus Christ returns again? Well, he said now you work at this. What do you work at? Be found by Him in peace. Now, that’s interesting that he should put that first– in peace. Why? Because your relationship with God means everything. There is peace with God that comes when you quit fighting Him.
Being justified by faith, Paul says in Romans 5, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And then there’s the peace of God that comes through committing everything to Him. Be care filled or worried, Paul says in Philippians 4:6, he said, “Be worried for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.” Don’t worry about anything but pray about everything is the paraphrase of that 6:1 and then he says as a result, “the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Be found by Him in peace.
And then Paul says over in Romans, “As much as this possible live peaceably with all men.” That’s peace with other people. As much as it’s possible, live peaceably with all men. That’s peace with other people, other believers and even other unbelievers, as far as that’s concerned. You follow that? So he says I want you to work at this, Peter says, so that when the Lord Jesus comes, he’ll find you as a person who has peace with God, who is experiencing the peace of God and who has as the very atmosphere of his relationship with other people real peace; your living peace.
Be found by Him in peace. Now where does that leave you and me? Sometimes we’re pretty troubled individuals, aren’t we? How do you approach this whole matter? Certainly, Brother Cook shouting at you is not going to change your feelings or your situation. How do you approach this? Now the first thing you do is to find out whether or not you’re really submitted to the will of God. Have you really given up fighting God on things and are you really yielded to his will? That’s the first thing. That’s the Romans 5:1 part of it.
Peace with God. If you’re fighting God on something, don’t expect to be peaceful. “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” If your heart is filled with some sin that you cherish or something that you insist upon having your own way, don’t expect to be at peace, you see, because you’re fighting God on it. So give up on that, would you, beloved?
Give up on whatever you’re fighting God about and then you’ll have peace with Him. Then next thing is you bring all these disturbing elements of your life to God in prayer. When you pray about a thing it takes — it diffuses it. It relieves the pressure in the pressure cooker. Somehow rather as you come to God in prayer, “Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” That’s what the songwriter said and he was right, wasn’t he?
So that’s the second thing to do, start praying audibly and deliberately and in detail about the things that bug you and that upset you and that make you worry. “Tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus all of my troubles. I cannot bear these burdens alone. Jesus will help me, Jesus alone.” Remember the old song? Well, listen, that’s the way to do it. The old timers knew what they were talking about because they had lived it. And so you and I may very well take advantage of their wisdom and start talking things over with our blessed Lord. A little talk with Jesus makes it right, Alright. That’s how to approach this matter of peace, the peace of God.
And then how do you approach the matter with — this matter of being at peace with people? Now there are some people who are just born in the accusative case and it does seem impossible to please them. You remember this lady who bought her husband two neckties for his birthday and he immediately rushed upstairs and put on a clean shirt and took one of these neckties and put it on and came down so proudly downstairs. She took one look at him and she said, “Huh, you didn’t like the other one, huh?” What are you going to do? You can’t win, can you? Well, there are some people who are that way. They’re difficult and they put thought into being impossible.
What do you do about people? Well, number one, make sure that you’ve done everything you can to ensure a good relationship. A smile, a friendly gesture that is not related at all to the argument at hand, a birthday remembered or an anniversary, a get-well card or just a kind word or even a compliment. Compliment somebody sincerely on what he or she is doing and you’ll find that the atmosphere warms up considerably. Peace with other people, he says, “If it be possible as much as lieth in you, live an atmosphere of peace with all people.”
And then if you’re aware of the fact that you, yourself, have gotten out of line on something, go directly to the person and honestly and sincerely apologize. Don’t beat around the bush, you know. I traveled for some years with Les Barnett often on and in one-night stands and meetings and Youth for Christ and he had a funny little line that I’ve always remembered. He would look at you and say, “If I have done anything to offend or hurt or upset you, oh I thank you.” Well, now, you can’t do that. You can’t do it that way.
You have to be sincere and you have to be humble and you have really to apologize if you’re going to get anywhere with people, if you’ve gotten out of line with them. They have to know that you mean it. And so go ahead and do it. Now, you may not always be received with applause, you know. They may not take you right away at your word, but you have to last awhile. Just keep on living, keep sweet, keep on doing all you can, and as I say, do something that is not related to the matter at hand that has to do with appreciating the other person.
Start a campaign of appreciation. If you find them doing a good job, say so. If you find them worthy of a compliment on something or other, give it to them. If there is a birthday or an anniversary, or if there’s some illness, needs a get-well card or a flower, do that. But you’ll find that the effort to live at peace with people depends upon your genuine concern for them. I get concerned about my feelings when things aren’t right with folk. Isn’t that true of you oftentimes?
Oh, I feel so bad. Well, turn it around. Living peaceably with people depends upon genuine concern for the other person. And you look for ways to help him or her and to encourage and to bless. You’d be surprised how things improve. Amen? Well, what if nothing works? Turn it over to Jesus and let Him handle them and He will. And in some cases in my life, it’s taken 20 years but the Lord took care of it. I’ve had people who really were caustic and highly critical, and, yeah, I got upset about it at that time, but turned it over to the Lord; 20 years later the same person would be found writing a letter of commendation and telling me to keep on.
Alright, give God time with people. He knows how to work things out. Oh yes. He said, “I know the plans that I have for you. Plans for good and not for evil to give you a desired end.” So God’s working for you. Give Him time. You just make sure that you’re living a life of peace. Be diligent. Because Jesus is coming, be diligent that He might find you a person of peace.
Well, we go on with this verse the next time we get together.
Jesus, we worship and adore Thee and we want to serve Thee and be people filled with Thy peace. I ask in Thy name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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