Peace is something that everyone is searching for in life, whether they know it or not. But we realize that the only real peace can come from the Prince of all Peace, Jesus Christ. When you look at peace and what the world has to offer, there is no comparison. Statistics show that nearly 5 million people go to sleep each night with the help of a sleep aid pill. The United States leads in mental illness globally with 46 percent of Americans suffering mental disorders ranging from anxiety, depression to substance abuse in their lifetime!(Source: The Washington Post, 2005)
How can we know where true peace comes from in a world like this? Well, first and foremost – if it’s not from God, through Jesus Christ – it’s not true peace!
Peace is an assurance of God’s control. It’s knowing that you know that you know that God is in control of your life, your situation. Peace is having no doubt, whatsoever, of God’s sovereignty in your life. Don’t think that just because you’re born again that you won’t need peace in your life! Even the upright can get uptight sometimes!
In the Old Testament, the word for peace is a very well known Jewish word – “Shalom.” The word “Shalom,” being translated speaks of health, prosperity, and wholeness. Let’s take a look at this word. In order to do so, one must realize that in the Hebrew language, every letter of every word has a meaning. Every letter of the Hebrew alphabet (alef-bet) has a corresponding meaning, a corresponding number, a corresponding color, a corresponding musical note and so on.
When you take the letters of the word shalom, and look at the meaning of each you get the following.
The four Hebrew symbols in the word Shalom each have a meaning (please bear in mind the Hebrew is read from left to right):
First symbol: Shin= to consume or destroy.
Second symbol; Lamed= authority.
Third symbol; Vav= nail/hook/connection.
Fourth symbol; Mem= crashing waves, chaos.
That means the word Shalom means “destroying any authority that is connected to chaos!”
Look with me at what I like to call “Paul’s Prescription of Perfect Peace.”
- Philippians 4: 4-9 -(4) Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice! (5) Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (7) and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ.
- Notice Two Very Important Principles to Paul’s Prescription:
- Peace is a Matter of Focus
a) Verse 4 says to Rejoice in the Lord always!
b) You can rejoice in ALL things! No matter the circumstance! I know you might be thinking – you don’t realize how bad of a set back I experienced! Listen, your comeback will always be better than your set back!
c) Peace is not the absence of problems. But peace is having Jesus – your Prince of Peace – in the midst of them!
d) You can rejoice in the Grace of God that Saves you! Think of this for one moment. Other than yourself – there is NOTHING that can steal your salvation! Nothing!
e) You can rejoice in the Goodness of God that Secures you! Nothing can pluck you out of His hand! Only you can control that!
f) You can rejoice in the Glory of God that Surrounds you! In Jesus Christ – God’s glory will permeate your life –and being obedient to His will- will thrust you into the center of His grace!
g) One of the reasons some people will never find peace in life, is because they’re looking for it. You will only find peace when you look for it in Jesus!
h) So, peace is a matter of focus! Rejoicing. Therefore, our focus deals with our praise.
- Peace is a Matter of Faith
a) In verse six, the Apostle Paul tells us to no longer be anxious, to no longer worry.
b) Worrying for some people is a full time job.
c) The word “worry” comes from an old German word which means “to strangle; choke.”
d) What happens when we worry? In essence, we are denying what God said about our situation. We are causing His Word to be of no effect.
e) Jesus said, in Matthew chapter 4 – that the cares of this world come into ‘choke’ the Word of God that is sown into our lives!
f) Don’t listen to the words of the world! Listen to the words of the Lord. Let HIM handle the situation – He is the peace speaker after all!
g) Some folks try too hard. If they would just get their hands off of the situation things would be so much better!
h) I remember a time in my life where I was crying, literally begging God for something for months –when I asked Him why He wasn’t answering, He finally said to me – “Son, the problem here isn’t that I’m not doing enough. The problem is that you’re doing too much! I see your fingerprints on the situation instead of Mine!”
i) The Psalmist said in Psalm 23 that He makes us to lie down in green pastures! If we would just lie down where we are – God would green some things up for us!
Next time I would like to discuss Him as the Prince of Peace! Until then….