podcast link: https://www.pastorwoman.net/podcast/episode/19e6c3c2/with-and-of-you-gotta-have-both-when-it-comes-to-peace
Today is the day in Christendom when we remember Jesus’ walk down the hillside of the Mt. of Olives and into Jerusalem as folks spread their cloaks on the ground for our Lord’s donkey to walk. Children waved palm branches, exultation was in the air! Here is a video of that area today1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFyyaCZ6GxE&feature=youtu.be
Do you feel exultation or anticipation today? If so, it is because you are able to compartmentalize life. In one corner of the boxing ring of your mind, you have:
that which is limiting your comings and goings,
that which is isolating you from others,
that which causes you to lie awake wondering about the economy, or
perhaps a real fear of contracting C-19 …
And in the other corner of the ring, you have an awareness that indeed it is Palm Sunday, the first day of what we call Holy Week, and Resurrection Sunday is almost here. Though I have been at Amy’s2 home in North Carolina for 11 days, and I have not seen a news program since walking in her door, I am aware of the prevalent anxiety across the land. So . . . though Easter can never be irrelevant as it is the pivotal piece of our faith and hope, I want to remind you what you have because Jesus rose from the grave: peace ~ two kinds.
Let me explain.
First, we have peace with God, Christian.
Just a few short weeks ago, a friend of mine made the decision to accept Christ into her life at our women’s retreat. It was amazing to watch her the rest of the weekend, (I can’t say I have ever seen another individual with quite the same change in her being; it was most unique). I tell you no secret, I tell you no lie – she looked different. There was a ‘knowingness’ in her eyes that was settled. Paul described what occurred:
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith,
we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.3
There is no lasting peace without Christ in our lives.
And the second kind of peace comes as a byproduct of the first - peace of God. The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.4 How fitting is this thought: “During the storm He will give strength to His people. Following it He will give them peace.”5
We can experience an inner peace because of the presence of God within us when we have relationship with him—that is, when we know and trust God.6 Different even than our earthly, face-to-face relationships though, we will have to intentionally make time to spend with our loving heavenly Father. As so noted in Isaiah, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”7
Fear and anxiety are the devil’s greatest weapons in pulling us away from the lives we are meant to live in Jesus. He wishes to keep us off-center, unsure and unsettled; whereas we are intended to operate with a spirit of love, power and a sound mind.8
Friend, be wise in how much news coverage you consume . . .
Instead, fix your mind on that which is true and honorable,
and right and pure and lovely and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.9
You have been offered peace with God ~ new life through Christ . . .
You can know the peace of God ~ through the Holy Spirit of God.
I pray that you will be wise in pursuing peace in what you think and
talk about …
I pray that the favor of the Lord will rest upon you10, Friends,
that you will choose peace with God
and know the peace of God.
1 – My friend and guide, Ezer, who ably takes us through the Holy Land: Israel in February, 2021, and Footsteps of Paul, Fall, 2021, Lord willing
2 - Amy is my daughter who lives with her family in Wake Forest, North Carolina
3 – Romans 5.1, NLT
4 – Psalm 29.11
5 – G. Campbell Morgan
6 - if you did not already, read “How to trust God even now” https://conta.cc/2weN17W
7 – Isaiah 26.3, NLT
8 – 2 Timothy 1.7