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Peace Like a River

January 9, 2007

John 16:33  “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:7  “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through christ Jesus.”

The peace of God that transcends anything that the world can throw at you.  A supernatural peace that, try as you may, there’s simply no words to capture its essence.  The languages of the world are woefully incapable of formulating phrases to adequately describe the peace of God that passes all understanding.

  Yesterday, as I was visiting a few sites to which visit on a regular basis, (I commented on as many as time would permit.)  it seemed as though each one was timely and needful.  Each post seemed to tell of something that I need to incorporate more in my own life and it was like being in school when every teacher hands you several chapters to go over at the same time.  I am always encouraged by the postings of others who bring up things that I may not have been considering.  (Exhort one another daily)

This morning, I really didn’t have any particular subject in mind until I did the traditional opening scroll down the tag surfer.  I came across the usual secular contentions ridiculing truth as they will, and it amazed me as to the complete absence of peace that so many have these days.  Some folks will go to incredible lengths to ridicule those who uphold the truth of the gospel and when you read their contention, you can feel; almost see the animosity and lack of real joy.  The very same condition in which we all found ourselves during the days of our former conversation.  As you read such accounts, it becomes obvious as to why the pcychiatrists are so busy and why the pharmaceutical industry is booming.  Folks are going nutty as they search for something tangible in a world where nothing stays the same and soon everything will be shaken to its core.  Tragically, those who have neglected the great salvation offered to them through Jesus Christ will find their hearts failing them for fear and will have positioned themselves to believe a strong delusion.  It’s urgent to pray for those around us who fit this description; that God will grant them repentance.   

I Corinthians 2:14  “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 

Many who keep themselves outside of the household of faith  will hear such talk and classify it as some type of a “ten step program” where you go through and convince yourself that you’re happy.  It’s looked upon as a hyped up enthusiasm based on physical conditions and void of anything tangible.  Occasionally, it’s even referred to as brainwashing.  Yet it’s very VERY real; even more so than the desk that I’m sitting a right now.  The peace of God and joy of the Holy Ghost will ever abide with every saint of God and will carry them throught the darkest hours to come.    I’m reminded of the testimony of stephen in the book of Acts.

Acts 7:54-58  “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of god, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,  And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of god.  Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young mans feet, whose name was Saul.”

He was full of the Holy ghost as he gave a detailed account of the history of Israel and their continual rebellion.  He then saw Jesus at the right hand of God.  I was just thinking about this.  Nobody else saw this vision; just Stephen.  It would have been easy to discount him as dillusional; only they couldn’t resist the piercing truth that he delivered.  The hardness of their hearts wouldn’t allow them to embrace the truth and so they reacted to it.  I love Stephens parting words as he entered into the presence of the Lord forever.

Acts 7:59-60  “And they stoned stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.  And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.  And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

There is no earthly way that Stephen could have maintained such a sweet spirit by his own power.  As he was being stoned, his heart was already well past the realm of this life and he even prayed for those who were stoning him, right before he fell asleep.  The peace that God gives simply defies every attempt to downplay it.  It’s real and it’s a promise for every believer.  I need to close this up, and so I’ll end with a very familiar, and yet very needful passage. 

John 14:26-27  “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your rememberance, whatsoever i have said unto you..  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” 

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5 comments

  1. I come from a background of addiction. Alcohol, drugs, nicotine: you name it. 24 years after giving my heart to Christ, I don’t drink, smoke, drink coffee, or use drugs. How is this possible for someone who was labeled as an “addictive personality?” It’s as you wrote, my brother, it is the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.

    When I pray I want to be sure that what I’m hearing is of God and not triggered by some substance that I ingested, smoked or snorted. When I’m tired and the whole day lays in front of me, I want to depend on my Heavenly Father to get me through it so that He gets all the glory when I successfully complete the assignments He had for me that day. He has indeed become my All In All, my Alpha and Omega.


  2. Thanks for stopping by Cumby. Truly all of the explanations on earth fail to grasp the awesomeness of God. We can never thank him enough but we can certainly love him forever. This age is wrapping up fast and soon “forever” will be upon us. Like the apostle Paul, I’m “betwixt” because of family members and friends who don’t know Jesus, however, my heart is already in heavenly places.


  3. Appreciated your post, especially the point about Stephen as I’ve often wondered what it must feel like for those facing death who DO hold fast to their faith and not capitulate to save their lives (as some so-called Christians recently did). While none of us know how we might feel, or deal with such circumstances, I have always believed that God would indeed (and obviously does if you look at the ‘persecuted’ Church believers) provide some supernatural ability to endure to the end, and even more than that – to be a witness to those who think they’re serving their god (please note little “g” there!) by killing those who profess to serve Jesus Christ. And I suspect that many who’ve been involved in such killings have indeed noticed something that’s made them think again about their own beliefs. Peace can often mean something different in the minds of many, but Christians know it not purely as a lack of strife or war, but as an inner knowledge and awareness far beyond human peace, that the difference is noticeable and striking and uplifting. I’ve only tasted it once – after my husband died when I was utterly distraught, yet somehow was utterly at peace about the situation too – a weird paradox at the time, but I knew exactly what it was I was experiencing and it was awesome.

    Like you (& Paul before us) I too yearn to go home, yet know I am here for His perfect Will and purpose in my life, and praying I too can make some difference in the lives that touch mine. Blessings, TKR


  4. timbob, you are absolutely right one with this post. The peace of God is beyond intellectual comprehension. There is no way you can wrap your mind around it, it is so vast and great in Christ Jesus! Thank you Lord Jesus for your peace!

    Blessings in Christ Jesus!


  5. Amazing to think God is bigger than ANYTHING the world throws at us

    God bless
    Maria in the UK
    http://www.inhishands.co.uk



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