Thursday, September 15, 2011

Get a Piece of Peace!

A man and his wife were eating in a restaurant in LaFayette, Louisiana. They were having an argument on how to actually pronounce the word “LaFayette.” One of them emphasized the first syllable while the other emphasized the second syllable. When the waitress came to the table she was a freshman in college. The man said to her, “Young lady, you are obviously going to school to get an education. My wife and I are having an argument. Will you very slowly tell my wife where we are?” The young college student shrugged her shoulders and said, “Sure!” She looked at the man’s wife and said, “Bur…ger…King!”

I don’t think this couple had much peace, do you? Peace is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. It seems that every where you turn people are calling for peace. However, the peace they are calling for is not the kind of peace we really need. The world’s definition of peace is too limited. To the world, peace is simply the absence of conflict. This understanding of peace is too temporary for us. It is a peace that is based on too many external circumstances and issues. Stress, for example, is a deterrent to our peace. Millions of aspirin are consumed in the US every day. Prescriptions for anti-depressant medication and tranquilizers are at an all time high. The fact is that what we need in our lives is real, lasting peace, not just the absence of conflict.

In the Bible we learn about three kinds of peace that we can experience that is so much more than the peace our world is seeking. First, you can have spiritual peace. In Romans 5:1, Paul says, “Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through out Lord Jesus Christ.” When by faith you turn your life over to Jesus, you receive peace with God. This is the starting place and the foundation for all other types of peace. Once you have spiritual peace, other kinds of peace will follow.

The second type of peace you can possess today is emotional peace. Spiritual peace naturally leads to emotional peace. You see, the result of having peace with God is experiencing the peace of God. This type of peace is the internal sense of well-being and contentment that we are all seeking. This is the kind of peace that does not change with life’s ever-changing circumstances. We read in Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since…you were called to peace.” Today, God wants to give you peace for your heart and mind, even if your life seems to be in chaos.

What is the result of spiritual peace and emotional peace? The answer is the third kind of peace you can experience today and that is relational peace. Relational peace means that you have peace with others. We read Paul’s words in Romans 12:18 when he says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Relational peace reduces conflict in our homes, marriages, on the job, with our kids, and with our friends. How desperately we need spiritual, emotional, and relational peace today!

How can you get these things? Jesus told us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus spoke these words about peace just before going to the cross. The peace He offers you is a gift. You cannot work for it or earn it in any way. You can’t “self-help” yourself into it or get psyched up for it. You receive this peace from Jesus when you receive Jesus and learn to obey and trust in Him each day. There is nothing you are facing today that is too big, too bad, too much trouble, or beyond the Lord’s help to control it, change it, or help you overcome it. Right now the Lord Jesus offers you peace. It is his gift to you. Why not receive it freely?