OUR SOURCE FOR PEACE – Part 1
Greetings everyone! I’m going to begin a two-part series on peace. I believe the Father has laid some things on my heart regarding this topic that I am excited to share with you. Plus, the Word of God has so many goodies in it about peace. You cannot help but be encouraged in His word. I trust your hearts will be blessed.
Often times we hear outcries for peace in our world because there is so much sorrow and unrest today. We don’t know where to turn to find peace. To no avail, we try all sorts of ways to experience peace in our souls because we don’t believe we can have true peace apart from our circumstances. We are tired of the constant violence and destruction plaguing our society. We are stressed and anxious about the future. Is feeling peaceful possible with all that is happening around us?
Let’s stop, take a breath and think for a minute.
So, what is peace, and how can we experience it in our everyday lives?
Looking up the word peace I found a couple meanings in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
One definition says that peace is: a state of tranquility or quiet.
The other definition says it is: a freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; calm or calmness.
As I was reading these definitions, I noticed there was no indication of peace being an absence of problems or challenges. The focus was on the state in which one would operate, or a reaction or response to something.
Peace is really not the absence of challenges in our lives.
As the old saying goes, “It’s not what you go through, it’s how you go through it.” How we perceive life around us is determined by the peace of God our hearts.
God is more concerned about what’s going on inside of us than He is about what’s going on around us. No matter how much we may want peace in the world we live in, if we don’t experience peace in our hearts, we are going to be miserable.
However, we can experience the peace that God has for us in this life, regardless of what it looks like.
Before getting any further into our topic, I just want to lay a bit of a foundation here. We need to be aware and/or reminded that God is at peace with mankind. God is at peace with us.
Luke 2:13-14 tells us:
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE, GOODWILL TOWARD men!” [capitalization mine]
Thanks be to God there is no animosity between God and His people. The war is over! Romans 5:1 tells us that we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And the Word does encourage us to have peace within ourselves and with others.
But, can we truly experience peace or anything else from God apart from knowing that He is at peace with us? Unfortunately, and for far too long, we have attributed the sorrow and tragedy around us to God. I’ve heard it said, “I believe God allowed this, that or the other to happen to me so that I could help someone else.”
I don’t agree with that at all. My apologies for stepping on any toes. That is not my intent! And it may seem as though I am getting off the subject, but I’m not. So, please hear me out. It grieves my heart to hear that God is being accused of being a child abuser or a killer. How can we find peace with God in that? We can’t!
So, if He didn’t cause the tragedies around us, then perhaps He allowed them. After all He is in control of everything, right?
God is not putting anything on us or allowing things to happen to us to teach us anything, and He is not in control of everything. Thank God for that!
But it is this way of believing and teaching that has led so many of us into fatal traps of the enemy. God doesn’t need to stoop to the enemy’s level to reveal His perfect will and plan for our lives. God uses His Word. Let me prove it to you.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Beloved, it’s right there in plain sight!! I don’t see anywhere where it says that God uses temptations, trials or tests to teach us anything.
I was there once where I believed God was allowing certain things to happen to me, so that one day I could be a blessing to or share my testimony with someone else. But the downside to that was, I would end up so confused. When a test, trial, or temptation came against me, I would wonder who or where this was coming from. Was it coming from Satan himself or God, trying to teach me something? Believe it or not, I even had moments where I thought God and Satan were working together against me. Crazy, huh? Because of this, I had a few questions rolling around in my head with no answers to them.
For me, believing that God was allowing things to happen to me left me in a place of total confusion and not peace. I could not experience peace with God and at the same time be concerned about where or when the next hit would happen. Not trying to be facetious, but that’s where I was in my thinking. Because I was ignorant or lacked knowledge in this area, the enemy took advantage of opportunities to steal, kill and destroy in areas of my life.
It wasn’t until years later, that the Lord was able to reveal to me through His word and through Bible College that God was not the guilty party.
He is not out to get us.
God is not the Author of confusion.
He is the Author of peace.
I believe it is so vital for us to know who our God is, because it affects our ability to relate to Him.
And I understand that we go through things and when we have victory over them, they do make for great testimonials and praise reports to encourage others. But God is not the One that’s putting these things on us. God uses His Word, and it is His Word that enables us and empowers us to overcome life’s trials, tests and temptations.
Now, having laid the foundation of being at peace with God, I am going to get into how we can experience true peace in our lives, daily…next time!
So, look out for my next blog as I conclude our subject on peace.
Written by Tonya Williams
Photos by Vicki Brawner