A Gift of Peace
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. - (Philippians 4:6-7)
One of the first things I remember about the day I put my faith in Christ was the sense of peace filling my heart. It was as though someone had lifted a heavy burden from me. It wasn’t until later, when I read the Bible, that I learned about God’s promise of peace to every believer. He has given it to us as a gift.
This peace, however, doesn’t come from what or who we are, but from what God has done — how He has justified us in response to our faith. A beautiful byproduct of this reality is a deep inner peace that floods our souls. But we can’t have this transforming effect without the beginning cause. If we’re fighting with God, resisting His plan and purpose for our lives, then we won’t experience this supernatural peace.
I think many people would like to have the desirable results and benefits of the Christian life without having to pay the price. In other words, they would like to know they are forgiven and going to heaven when they die, but they still want to live as they please. They don’t want to put their complete faith and trust in Jesus.
That sort of attitude just won’t fly. We can’t have the pleasing, life-transforming privileges of God’s peace without first meeting God’s requirements. Colossians 1:20 says that through Jesus Christ, “God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross” (NLT). The only way we will experience the peace of God that passes all human understanding is through the blood of the cross, the blood Jesus shed. You can’t have the peace of God until you first have peace with God.
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When God doesn’t make sense, when it seems that He is asleep, when it feels like He doesn’t care, we must remind ourselves of His promises. Going back to God’s promises, we find something that we desperately need in those hard times: perspective.
That eternal perspective is the focus of Dr. James Dobson’s book When God Doesn’t Make Sense, which we’re offering as a thank-you to anyone who gives a gift of support to Harvest Ministries this month.