Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Peace

You get to hear another mini sermon this morning. I know, I know, but I just can't stop talking about Him, what can I say? =)

This kind of goes hand-in-hand with my "Yes, Lord" post. Last night at Youth, Justin talked about peace. Peace. Real true peace.

He had us go through about 20 verses/passages on peace. I can't remember them all, but I'll try to recover one by the end of this post.

There is no lasting peace in this world. No wordly things can give us peace- not even "an entire bucket of ice cream", in the words of Justin. Sure it feels good at first. Yummy, delicious, ice cream! How can you not be happy? But the next morning... You wake up with a terrible tummy ache.

Alcohol. Alot of people think alcohol can bring you peace of mind. So you drink... and drink... Well this feels good, so you drink some more... And the next morning, you don't feel good at all.

Wordly things bring no peace. They bring temporary relief to your hurt. They don't heal. Only Jesus heals. I'm telling you nothing, absolutely nothing, in this world, can give you peace. Can settle your heart and your mind. So what can you do? Who can help?

Jesus. He can help. He will help. He desires to help. If you let him help.

There are alot of bad things that happen in this world. So many terrible things happen- poverty, starvation, murder, rape, the list goes on and on. Cancer, car crashes, and who do we blame? God. After all, He is in charge, isn't He? So it must be His fault!

But you forget one important element.

Satan.

Satan still exists. And we still have this abused gift called free will. And we let him weasle his scrawny, dirty little self into our lives. And bad things happen. Satan has not been defeated yet- ah, but he will be. But not yet. All in God's timing.

When we have uneasy hearts, we are not at peace. When we are angry, frustrated, grieving, distraught, we are not at peace. Only He can give us peace, I'm telling you, only precious Lord Jesus can give us peace.

He died on the cross, to give you peace. Yes, He did. When He was on that cross, every single sin of the past, present, and future... Was on Him. On His soul. And He wanted it that way. God wanted to crush His son for our good. He wanted to crush Jesus, so that our scrawny lives could be saved. And Jesus wanted to die, wanted to be tortured and hung from the cross among thieves, so that He may save us. This was His heart's desire. And He fulfilled His purpose- that was His entire purpose, of coming to earth. He lived to die. And for us.

That's alot of sins, ya'll. Everything from lying to your Momma about eating that extra cookie, to murder. And He wasn't struggling against it, He did it willingly. So that when we were not at peace, He could come to us and say, "I love you. And I died for you. I took your sins, and I overcame them when I rose from the tomb. I overcame your sins. I have already overcome them, just give it all to me, and I'll take care of it."

Peace, to me, is free of worries. And not having to know.

We don't have to understand.

Heck, we're probably better off not knowing. Only our Heavenly Father knows best, and if He says "quit worrying and just trust me", well we better do it. We don't have to know.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path." -Psalm 119:105

We live in the dark. We have no insight. We cannot see, we do not know all the answers, we do not know all the reasons WHY, and we're confused and scared and about to give up. And then Jesus walks into the picture. Jesus can see. Jesus can see everything, and knows everything. We can trust Him- He loves us. He loves us with His entire heart. And He has all the resources, all the answers. We just have to trust, and quit worrying about what to do. We don't know what to do- He knows.

I've been told, "pray about it and He will tell you what to do."

I don't believe in that.

I believe in praying for peace, for comfort, and for courage to give everything up. And then just letting go of what I think needs to be done, letting go of worries about what will happen, and letting Him take our hand and lead us. We are blind, He can see. When we let go of everything, we are sacrificing everything, but we can know that we are in good hands. He will guide us according to His will- we no longer have to be afraid of breaking His will, or His commands. Because we put Him in charge.

"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." -Isaiah 41:13

Perhaps the most comforting verse I've ever read. He is Lord, He is God, and He takes hold of our hand, like a mother would for a small child, and comforts us. We have no fear, God will help us.

Lord of hosts, Maker of all... Cares about us, and loves us, enough to die for us. And guide us. We don't have to do anything really- just let go. Just trust.

That's what peace is. No worries. No concerns. Just trusting Him. Knowing He is in total control.

Don't just give Him some control. Give Him everything you have. True peace, then will come to you.

And that peace, that rest... Is so amazing. It's like this great relief. And you feel high and lifted up, refreshed, and safe, and comforted... So free in your heart. Because everything has been let go. You are no longer in control. That can be a scary thing... But it's so worth it.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7

God's peace can be yours. Can be mine. "Do not be anxious about anything". Some versions say "be anxious about nothing". Nothing. Nothing means nothing. No exceptions. But give it all to Christ, give it to Him. And His peace, which is greater than anything, which covers everything, will be yours. And it will guard us- picture a stone wall around our hearts, and our minds, keeping Satan out. When God is in control... You are safe from Satan. Because Satan is NO match for our Lord Jesus.

Just know that peace can be yours. Just give everything to Him, everything, not just 99% of it, everything. No matter your situation, just knowing that we don't have to understand is comforting. Just knowing we don't have to know, because He does, is peace in itself.

This is my last verse today. I will not speak about it. I want you to think about it. Pray about it. Because it is so true. He loves you, my friends. Be not afraid, not anxious, but have peace.

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." -1 Peter 5:7

In His Grip,
--Ranch Kiddo