Peace is found by focusing on God’s Promises
Genesis 21:7 (NLT)
Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!
- Doubt, worry, and fear will cause us to forfeit our peace
- Troubled heart? – TRUST HIM – focus on His promises (we serve a God of the impossible)
- Has God given you a promise? Remind yourself of it now! – Don’t give up. He is faithful!!
What would you give up for peace?
Issac had departed and settled in a new valley
Genesis 26:19-22 (NLT)
Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.”
- At times we must compromise for the sake of peace.
- Ask God for wisdom to know when to withdraw and when to stand
- We can be respected for our patience when we choose to keep peace over fighting back
Peace Takes Priority Over Conflict
Joshua 22:11-13(34) – NLTThe rest of Israel heard that the people of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had built an altar at Geliloth at the edge of the land of Canaan, on the west side of the Jordan River. So the whole community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and prepared to go to war against them. First, however, they sent a delegation led by Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, to talk with the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
- When these tribes built an altar, the rest of Israel feared they were starting their own religion and rebelling against God. But before beginning war, they wanted to learn the truth. When they learned it was a memorial, not a sacrifice, unity was restored.
- There was peace / unity restored — We often can avoid hurt and pain and keep the peace by following this example…hear – find out – restore
- They heard and assumed — Assuming brings trouble. When we assume the intentions of others, we often assume the worst.
- They went to find out — Ask before taking revenge, cutting off a relationship/friendship, holding onto a grudge, assaulting. — Beware of reacting before hearing the whole story
Obedience Leads to Peace
2 Chronicles 14:4 (1-6) NLT
He commanded the people of Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his law and his commands.
- We see this repeated in the Bible…Obedience to God leads to peace with God
- Obeying God is the first step on the path to peace…What and where is God asking you to obey Him today?
Times of Peace are not just for Resting
2 Chronicles 14:7 (NIT)
“Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered.
Times of peace allow us to prepare for times of trial, trouble, and temptations
It is difficult to withstand temptations and spiritual attack unless defenses are prepared beforehand
Sports analogy (in the off season…we practice, condition, and prepare)
Are you in a time/season of peace? – Rest is good, but I encourage you to use this time to build your defense…strengthen your faith
Assurance of Answered Prayer brings Peace
Psalm 3:5 (NIV)I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
- Sleep does not come easy during a crisis.
- How can you sleep peacefully even during a trial/troubled time? – Cry out to God!
- The Lord hears our cries.
- It is easier to sleep well when we have full assurance that God is in control.
- Are you losing sleep? Are you worrying about things out of your control? – Pour out your heart to God! Thank him that he is in control. Trust him! – Peace and sleep will come.
Peace takes Hard Work
Psalm 34:14 (NASB)
Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
- New Living Translation…work to maintain it
- Peace takes effort on our part
- We should work hard at living in peace with others each day
Peace is More than the Absence of Conflict
Psalm 122:6-9 (NIV)
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.
- The peace prayed for here is praying for the peace of others. Not just absence of conflict, but completeness, health, justice, prosperity, and protection
- The world can not provide this kind of peace. This is real peace, which only comes from faith in God
- To find peace of mind and peace with others, you first must find peace with God