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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How Can We Find Peace When All around Us and Inside Us is Confusion and Chaos?

By Dennis Edwards

As Christians we have advantage over those of the world because we have been introduced to the Man of Peace- Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, the world and Satan himself can buffet us. Our own neglects and sins and shortcomings can affect us negatively. We end up not having that peace that passes understanding. How, therefore, can we nurture or regain that peace and rest that God has promised in His word. Let us search God’s word together for the answers.

Firstly, in the Psalms we find the verse; “Great peace have they which love Thy law and nothing shall offend them.” [1]

The Lord says through Isaiah, “Thou shall keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon Me, because he trusts in Me.”[2] 

Jesus said in Matthew, “Come unto Me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”[3] 

In John He says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”[4] 

 Later Jesus says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”[5]

So practically what must we do to have peace or find God’s presence when all that is within us is confusion and uncertainty? 

The first step is reestablishing our relationship with Jesus if it has been broken or needs strengthening. If we are experiencing lack of peace, we are either being attacked by the enemy of our soul or our sins and neglects have led us into spiritual lethargy which is having a toll on our spiritual life. We need to start renewing our inner man. We need to start renewing our mind and bringing our thoughts into captivity.[6] 

It might be a good time to pick up the New Testament and reread it if it has been a long time since we last did so.

Jesus said, “Call upon me and I will answer you.”[7] 

He said, “You shall seek me and find me when you shall call upon me with all your heart.”[8] 

So start with that desperate prayer knowing that you know you need God’s help. Call upon him with all your heart, mind, body and soul. Jesus said the first and greatest commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”[9] You may need to get your priorities reestablished. But God promises to answer. My wife finds it helpful to go and walk along the beach early in the morning pouring out her heart to God in prayer. Try it, it may help!

James says it like this; “God resists the proud, but gives grace (peace, rest, faith) unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts you double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up.”[10] 

We need to draw nigh to God in prayer. We need to eliminate sin or anything that may be offensive to God in our life and then fight the good fight of faith by believing that God will answer prayer and lift us up.

Paul in his letter to the Philippians says the following: “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say rejoice. (So we need to walk in praise.) Be anxious for nothing (or do not worry or be fearful), 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things be true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good-report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”[11] 

Here we see the importance of praise, thanksgiving, prayer, and meditating and bringing our thoughts into captivity to God’s mind. In the Psalms we read, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name.”[12] When we do these things, He promises to send us “the peace that passes understanding.” 

The Bible also says that “faith comes from hearing the word of God.”[13] I find it helpful to read and study God’s word daily. It helps to keep my mind on His thoughts and keep the worries and fears to a minimum. Reviewing verses I have memorized also helps, or reading through some of the Psalms. Psalms are powerful prayer booster and can be a way to combat the enemy when we are being oppressed and attacked by his lies and fears. 

We need to remember we are in a spiritual battle and the enemy of our soul is out to destroy us if he can. Take up the white hot sword of the spirit which is the word of God.[14] 

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”[15]

James also admonishes us to ask for prayer when we are feeling oppressed or distressed or attacked by the enemy. “Confess your faults one to another, pray one for another that you may be healed.”[16] 

One can chase a thousand but two can put ten thousand to flight.[17] Never be ashamed to ask for prayer when you need it. There is great power in united prayer together, so use it.

I hope these tips will help. “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”[18] 

But we must “fight the good fight of faith,”[19] and give no place to our adversary. [20] Keep fighting! 

Notes

[1] Psalm 119: 165
[2] Isaiah 26:3
[3] Matthew 11: 28-30
[4] John 14:27
[5] John 16:33
[6] 2Corinthians 10:5
[7] Jeremiah 33:3
[8] Jeremiah 29:13
[9] Mark 12:30
[10] James 4: 4-8
[11] Philippians 4: 4-8
[12] Psalm 100:4
[13] Romans 10:17
[14] Ephesians 6:17
[15] James 4:7
[16] James 5:16
[17] Deuteronomy 32:30
[18] Isaiah 59:19
[19] 1Timothy 6:12
[20] Ephesians 4:27

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