William Stout / General
Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
- Perfect Peace!
- It seems like we see the exact opposite of that in the world today
- Nearly everywhere we look, and every kind of peace, seems lacking
- there are so many wars, and threats of war
- there are strivings and struggles for control in political battles around the world
- Here in our country, it seems that there are so many struggled
- political battles
- violent crime
- In our own city, there is such a lack of peace
- And beyond what we can observe outwardly in the world, so many people lack inner peace in their lives
- So many people, even when all our needs are met, lack personal peace
- We are plagued by worry and anxiety
- people worry about the future,
- about finances
- about their jobs
- about relationships
- about what other people think
- about possessions and property
- about health
- about life and death
- this lack of personal peace leads to all kinds of problems
- lack of sleep
- anger and depression
- unhealthy relationships, fighting, and strife
- bad decisions
- drug and alcohol abuse
- so many people turn to drugs because they lack peace in their minds
- they have to be occupied with a distraction
- Even among Christians, it seems like there are so many people who desire peace and feel they don’t have it
- Yet, Jesus promised a peace:
John 14:27 NKJV
27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
- Jesus has left “His peace” with us. That is a perfect peace. not like the world –
- Based on His peace, and our faith, He tells us not to let our hearts be troubled, or afraid –
- We can try to accomplish this in our own strength, by trying not to feel anxious or thinking about other things (and we should)
- And we may even feel a sense of peace for a time
- but ultimately, this kind of peace seems fleeting, quickly disappearing when our circumstances change
- But God promises a perfect peace –
Not as The World Gives
- Jesus has told us that “in the world, you will have tribulation”
- The world’s peace is based on happenstance – not faith
- It comes and goes with the wind
- like an earthquake, we can go from 0 to 8.0 on the Richter scale in just an instant
- This peace that comes from the world can be instantly taken from the world
- the peace that comes from God does not depend on the world
There is an imperfect peace
- There is an imperfect peace of ignorance – when we think that all is going well, yet if our eyes knew the truth we would see it is not
- Like people who are in a plane crash –
- many people are subject to this kind of false peace in the way they live – without Christ
- There is an imperfect peace of stagnation: like when a pool of water looks calm and peaceful but underneath is full of muck and slime –
- so many people are living like this, at peace in their stagnant faithlessness, and one day the shock of God’s judgment will stir their pool and they will find they had no real peace at all
- And there is the imperfect peace of dependence: This is a peace that depends on someone or something to maintain it.
- So many people are like that, trusting in money, or people for their peace, yet that thing can fail, or the person may die! Then where is their peace?
God’s Peace is a Perfect Peace
- It is perfect in power so that it is sufficient for any trial
- Consider the ordeal the disciples encountered on the lake with Jesus sleeping in the boat
- Why did they doubt?
- Why do we doubt in our storms?
- His peace is perfect in its constancy: It is available now, and will not be exhausted
- God’s Peace is a satisfying peace. When we are in His peace, we can rest, just as Jesus was at rest in the boat
- He did not promise that He would keep our environment in perfect peace
- He said with the perfect peace he would satisfy “you” – those of you who meet the condition
Whose mind is stayed on God
- We cannot enjoy true peace as long as sin remains upon the conscience (C.H. Spurgeon)
- We may think that it is our circumstances that keep us from peace, but circumstances are merely a distraction
- Sin keeps us from peace –
- As long as our minds are stayed on sin, they are not stayed on Him –
- Sinners who have not repented of sin cannot know the perfect peace of God
- Yet this is often a problem for Christians also
- the more we know of God, the more we become aware of sin and it’s awfulness
- The more the conscience is enlightened, the more surely will it forbid peace so long as sin remains; for its honest verdict is, that sin deserves God’s wrath, and must be punished (C.H. Spurgeon)
- So this sin must not only be repented of, it must be removed!
John 1:29 NKJV
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
- When Jesus died for our sins, He took those sins away (from us), nailing them to His cross
- we no longer bear them. We now have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins
- this “taking away” of sin, is another way of saying they are forgiven
1 John 1:9 NKJV
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Yet, we must receive this forgiveness through faith
- So many people do exactly that in becoming saved, and then live with a sin consciousness in trying to stay saved
- We are not saved by not sinning! You are not saved by not sinning
- You “were” saved by trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord (if indeed you have)
- Of course, we don’t want to sin – that’s because we trust Him as Lord
- But if we keep our minds on Him, we are not looking at sin
- As we keep our minds on Him, it is easier not to sin (have to take mind off Him first)
1 John 2:1–2 NKJV
1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
- How do we obtain this perfect peace?
- By Jesus Christ: There is no peace for anyone who does not have Jesus Christ
Isaiah 48:22 NKJV
22 “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”
- By the Holy Spirit: The comforter, the Holy Ghost shall live with you and be in you, Jesus has said. If the Holy Spirit is in us, He brings peace.
- By His Word: We must continually strengthen ourselves with His word. In His word, we are reminded of the peace that is in us
- His Word is filled with promises for any situation that the world may present to threaten your peace
John 8:31 NKJV
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
By Praise and prayer: If you are feeling a lack of peace be reminded of these things:
- His grace and your redemption
- being freed from sin by His Cross
- His Spirit in You
- His Word and its promises
- And then begin to Pray and Praise Him for it
Philippians 4:6–7 NKJV
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.