Peace In The Midst of Storms
It is not an understatement to say that peace is the most sought commodity in the world today. It is rarer than gold. If peace could be traded like shares, bonds and metals in exchanges, it would certainly shoot off the charts. Everyone clamours for peace. No one in our fast-paced society is spared from constant stress and anxiety. Peace is desperately needed.
Jesus promised peace to His disciples during the Passion Week – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” In just a few days, Jesus would be arrested and crucified. The disciples would be left by themselves. Just a few days earlier, they were keenly anticipating Jesus to usher in the Kingdom of God. He would be crowned King over Israel, and they would be significant players in the newly established Kingdom. In just a matter of days, their fortune quickly turned. Inevitably, they were confused and anxious. They could sense the rising tension between Jesus and the religious leaders. It did not help that Jesus was saying strange things to them, like “I will not leave you as orphans” (John 14:18).
The peace that Jesus gives is different from what the world offers, which is external and temporal. On the contrary, His peace would be abiding and deep. As the apostle, Paul, put it, it is a peace that “surpasses all understanding.” It is supernatural, and it will “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
The promise of peace is given to every believer of Christ Jesus. We are thankful for it. However, despite the promise, peace is elusive. We do not seem to be able to lay hold of it. Often, we find ourselves struggling with fears and anxieties. One of the causes is stress. We experience stress in our study, work and relationships.
Most people, including Christians, are resigned to the fact that life in our fast-paced society is stressful, and nothing can be done about it. This is a lie from the devil. Satan is the stealer of peace. If you have it, he would steal it from you. If you do not have it, he would stop you from having it.
We must resist the devil and walk in the peace that God has promised us. Peace is our spiritual birth right and inheritance. So, let us lay hold of it. Besides, stress is the number one cause of physical, emotional and mental sicknesses. Good health is necessary for us to serve God well. We do not want the devil to hinder us through sicknesses of any kind.
Peace Will Be Sorely Needed in The Last Days
I believe that we are living in the last of the Last Days. Jesus warned of increasing distress and perplexity during this period as nations clash and strange phenomena occur on the earth and in the cosmic realm of the sun, moon and stars. Overt demonic activities will be widespread. Already we are witnessing some measures of these things happening. The situation will turn from bad to worse quickly as one unprecedented event after another takes place. There will be such a foreboding that people all over the world will be seized with fear and anxiety (Luke 21:25-26). Peace will be sorely needed in such a time as this.
In such a time, only the peace of God will ensure that we live victoriously and overcome whatever the devil throws at us. The apostle, Paul, shared with us this fascinating insight – “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Romans 16:20). Not the God of might or power, but the God of peace.
Focus on Christ Jesus
How do I walk in God’s peace?
First, by keeping your focus on God. Let your heart and mind stay on Christ at all time; and not on your circumstances.
When Peter’s eyes were fixed on Jesus, he walked on water. However, the moment he took his eyes off the Lord, and he saw the howling winds and tossing waves, his peace was broken as fear gripped him, and he began to sink immediately.
Back to the Luke 21 passage, that is why Jesus calls us to “straighten up and raise your heads” and “see the Son of Man” during the tumultuous times of the Last Days (Luke 21:27-28). In other words, keep your eyes on Jesus. Looking at your adverse circumstances will rob you of your peace and sink your faith. On the other hand, focusing your mind and heart on Christ Jesus brings peace.
Prayer & Supplication
Second, by prayer and supplication.
Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV) - …do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Prayer is the best antidote against fear and anxiety. Pray earnestly. Implore the Lord. Beg Him. That is what supplication means. And remember to do so with thanksgiving. When we give thanks, we are demonstrating our trust in God that He has heard us, and He would act accordingly. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Cast all your anxieties on Jesus and the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet (1 Peter 5:7; Romans 16:20).
Pastors Leslie & Adeline Chua