The story has been told about a shipwrecked sailor. He had spent three long years on a desert island when one day he was overjoyed to see a ship drop anchor in the bay. He anxiously watched and waited as a small lifeboat made its way to shore. But then, to his surprise, instead of calling to him to get in, an officer of the ship presented him with a big batch of newspapers. The officer said to this marooned sailor…
“The captain suggests that you read what’s going on in the world, and THEN let us know if you STILL want to be rescued.”
We live in a troubled world… There is so much conflict in the world that to be marooned on a desert island can be an attractive thought. “Peace” is a concept that so often seems to be found only in the dictionary. This is true not only of world peace – peace between countries, but also of inner peace – peace within the individual. Jesus warned, “In the world you WILL have tribulation…,” but He also promised, “In ME you may have peace” (John 16:33). Jesus comforted His followers with words of assurance: “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” (John 14:27).
The peace that Jesus promises is not the absence of conflict on the outside, but an inner confidence within the individual – a calm center in the eye of the storm! It is based on trust in a God who cares and provides for His children,
Luke 12:22-31 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
This peace is found in a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, which sustains His children even in difficult circumstances.
Jesus Christ died on the cross so that YOU and I might have THAT peace. Through His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus conquered the Number One problem that keeps us from having peace: SIN. His death served as payment for the sins of those who will submit their lives to Him:
- believing in and trusting Him. Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”,
- repenting of sin. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death”,
- confessing that He is the Son of God. Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
- and being baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of sin. Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
The “peace of God which surpasses all understanding” will CONTINUE to “guard” the hearts and minds of those who CONTINUE to walk with God obediently. (Philippians 4:6)