Peace From Knowing Christ
Another part of God's nature we may share in is peace. It comes through a right relationship with God, through prayer, through trusting God to handle it and fixing on the Word of God.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right today? Well, I certainly trust so. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you. I’ve just been praying that God would put his truth, and his blessing, and his love into the words I say and into the very tone of my voice. We can’t see each other but we can tell a great deal by the way we sound. Isn’t that true?
Do you remember when you were a child and someone was calling you for supper? I can remember that so clearly. I was a boy, I supposed of about, what? Four or five maybe, living in Toledo with a lady we called Aunt Molly. She wasn’t an aunt, really. We figured out one time that she was a second cousin several times remote but a gracious and motherly soul and she took me in, a little stroobly haired, motherless boy, and I stayed in that home for a little while–Aunt Molly.
And so I’d be up playing somewhere with the other little children in the back alley perhaps or going down even as far as the railroad track which was just a block away along — which was the Nickel Plate Railroad. Any of you old timers remember the Nickel Plate? We ran around it, we ran along there and there was a ditch alongside of the railroad that was fascinating to little boys because it had tadpoles in it and minnows and small stuff like that that boys are interested in. I remember the day I brought back some young frog’s tadpoles we caught then and put them in the rain barrel where they collected rain water. I got scolded for that I remember.
But anyhow, come supper time and you would hear that familiar call, “Robert!” And we’d go out and play for just a little longer you know. Just stretch the playtime as long as possible, and then the call would be a little more strident and on a higher pitch, “Robert!” And if I didn’t come then, then the call had some gravel in it. And I knew it was time to move. Yeah, you know, you remember that, don’t you? Some of you? You can tell a great deal by a person’s voice, though I just pray that what I say and how I say it might be guided by the indwelling Spirit of God.
Well, I’ve used up nearly three minutes chatting with you and we better get to the Word of God. You and I have been using Galatians 5:22-23 as commentaries. On this idea of being partakers of the divine nature by applying the promises of God, do you remember that? “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these, that is these promises ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Now, how did we become a partaker of the divine nature? Well, you find out first of all what it is that you are supposed to partake of and a sentence with a preposition and your school teachers are flinching about that, aren’t you? Find out first of all that of which you are supposed to partake. That’s proper but it’s a little awkward in any case. We found a profile of the divine nature, not everything surely. One can’t exhaust the richest of God’s nature and his attributes with words. And you can find many other places in scripture where God’s character, God’s attributes, God’s nature are detailed. But we chose this one, I suppose arbitrarily because it is rather full and it does give an idea of what God himself is like when he takes control of a human heart. The fruit of the Spirit as the result of God, the Holy Spirit dwelling in you and controlling you, that’s what that verse means.
“The fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” And so for our purposes, we just think about those words for a little while to see what it is that we are supposed to become part of as we apply the promises of God to our lives. Well, we got as far as the word “joy” and today we go on to the word “peace, love, joy.” Peace, the peace of God. Now, peace again, like joy does not depend upon circumstances. You could be in turbulent circumstances with the world and things just swirling around you in a storm either of trouble or of testing or whatever it may be and yet you can have perfect peace in your heart. How does this come about? Well, first of all it comes about by knowing the person who is our peace. Paul says, “He is our peace, who hath made both one, and broken down the middle wall of partition between us. Christ himself, a person is our peace.”
It’s the old story of the prodigal boy who had been thrown out of the house by the father, and the years have gone by and the boy has never written or come home. And then mother falls ill and she pleads with her husband, try to get in touch with the boy and bring him home. And he was hard-hearted but finally accedes to her dying request and the boy comes home, and the two men face each other across that sickbed where mother’s was lying so ill, and she takes the hand of her husband in her one hand and she takes the hand of her straying boy, now grown to manhood in her other hand and then slowly, slowly she brings the two of them together and folds them together over her heart. She became the very embodiment of peace between those two warring human beings.
Jesus, our Blessed Lord hanging on the cross, shedding His blood for us, breaking His dear heart for our sins, He becomes our peace. That’s the start of it, isn’t it? And then you hear Him saying, “Peace I give unto you, my peace give I unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” And He is the one who supplies peace in circumstances. He said while the little boat was tossing there on the sea of Galilee said to the storm “Peace, be still” and the wind ceased and there was a great calm, the Bible says.
And so, there is the peace that comes from receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and knowing that things have been made right because He paid the penalty for your sin. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, where God commended his love toward us and that while we were yet sinners, “Christ died for us.” That’s Romans 5:1-8.
Now, that’s the start of it. You don’t really know what I’m talking about unless you’ve started there. But if you have, that takes in so very many of you precious friends, if you have started there at the cross, if you’ve yielded yourself to Jesus as your Lord and he has become, then by the grace of God your Savior. If is He in control of your life just now, then you do know, don’t you? That wonderful peace that is a right relationship between your soul and the Savior, what else then?
Well, then there’s the peace of commitment in prayer. Paul says “Be care-filled for nothing.” It means don’t worry about anything. “Be care-filled for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
There’s the peace that comes through committing things to God in prayer. Oh, what would you do if you couldn’t? Run into the throne room and talk to your Heavenly Father about things. Every day the precious of life just drive us to our knees and we come from the place of prayer having committed things to Him with peace in our hearts. This is not fatalism nor is it a passive submission to what will be, will be. Oh, no. It’s turning the control of the variables of life over your Heavenly Father who knows how to handle them, a perfect peace through commitment to God in prayer.
And then there’s the peace that comes from concentration on your Heavenly Father. Isaiah said in 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.” A perfect peace through trusting, that is not only committing things but trusting, letting God handle it. “Letting God handle it because he trusteth in thee whose mind is stayed on Thee.” Let your mind be filled with thoughts of your Lord and the peace of God will be the byproduct. The adverse side of that coin is something that always gives me a warning. “Mind is stayed on thee, he trusteth in Thee.” These are parallel phrases.
And so the Lord spoke to me one time and said “What your mind is stayed upon is that which you are ultimately going to trust.” What you really think about all the time is that on which you are going to willing to risk the whole bundle of life. A man who thinks about money all the time will risk a great many precious thinks for money. A man who thinks about political power and influence all the time will risk a great many thinks for political power and influence. A man who thinks about sensual pleasures all the time will risk some very precious things in order for the fleeting satisfaction of the moment. What you think about all the time becomes that upon which you are willing to risk the whole bundle of life. And so you better have your mind stayed on God, that’s what Isaiah said. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.”
And then there is the peace that comes from occupation with the Word of God, “Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them.” When you operate on the basis of God’s Holy Word, you are operating according to a higher level of truth, then that which is presented to you in the momentary circumstances of life, irritating or frightening as they may be. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind….” There is your mind, “Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them.” There’s your emotions, an emotional, attachment to the Word of God.
Open your heart to the Word of God so that you are actually fulfilled, and satisfied, and blessed with it. He says “Nothing shall offend them,” or cause them to stumble. When you are operating according to a given set of truths, your behavior responds to those truths rather than to the other stimuli around you. Do you follow me?
There has been a great deal of discussion lately about how a pilot would react under crises or pressures. And there was a conversation with a pilot who had brought his aircraft safely back to the ground after having experienced an accident in flight. The plane was disabled and it was about to crash but he brought it safely and they said “What did you do in those moments?” He said, “You do what you have to do based on years of experience. Sometimes you haven’t got a time to look up the rulebook.”
Ah, he was operating on the basis of experience gained through the years of flying according to the regulations. And so he simply reacted on that basis, “Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them.” That’s the peace that comes from operating on the basis of the Word of God.
Dear Father, today, oh, may we know the wonderful peace of God in our daily life. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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