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|Articles - Christmas|
|Written by Gloria Copeland|
People everywhere are experiencing all kinds of pressure and stress. And people everywhere have a choice to make—to either receive turmoil into their hearts, or to resist fear and refuse to allow it to chip away at their peace.
I feel confident you will choose to resist fear and live in peace—regardless of what's happening. And there is only one way to effectively do that…you must go to God and His Word.
A key scripture for being established in peace is found in Isaiah 26:3:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.Peace comes as a result of trusting God—operating in faith, keeping your mind on His Word and acting on it. It's interesting to note that in this verse the word for peace is "shalom," which means "nothing missing, nothing broken."
The root word it comes from means "to be complete, sound, whole." And there is another definition for peace that I especially like, it is "everything that makes for man's highest good."
Think about how that reveals God's heart—He has the "highest good" in mind for us.
That kind of peace means living in a state of rest, quietness, and calmness. It is the absence of strife, a place of tranquility. It generally denotes perfect well-being and includes harmonious relationships between God and man, men and man, nations and families.
Doesn't that motivate you to cultivate peace in your life?
Alexander Maclaren said: "True peace comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the presence of God and will be deep and passing all understanding in the exact measure in which we live in and partake of the love of God."
Think about that for a minute...peace isn't determined by the absence of trouble but rather by the presence of God.
Love, joy and peace issue out of your spirit as a result of fellowship with God. To the degree you walk in the love of God—loving God and loving others—that's how much you can enjoy peace.
Every fruit of the spirit depends on walking in love. It's impossible to walk in strife, unforgiveness, and hatred and have peace at the same time. Hebrews 12:14 says "Follow peace with all men...." If you have peace with God, you can have peace in every other relationship in your life.
This time of year we often hear the Christmas story from Luke 2:14 about the birth of Jesus and how the angels announced, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." The word "peace" in this scripture is very significant. It means "to bind together that which has been separated."
Our peace comes from being joined to God. When Jesus was born, the way of peace was back in the earth making it possible for man and God to have peace with one another again.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is our peace (Eph. 2:14). When we accept Him as our Savior and make Him Lord of our lives, we are in covenant with God and it's a covenant of peace. The message of salvation is also called the "gospel of peace" because Jesus paid the price for our sins, providing peace with God.
If I had to define "salvation" in one word, it would be "soundness." When you come to the Lord Jesus Christ, not only are you forgiven of your sins and born again, you also get to receive soundness, wholeness, in every area of your life-spirit, soul and body.
Send Anxiety Packing
Isn't it wonderful to know that Jesus bore all the bad things that could steal our peace—sin, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, mental illness, and disease. He paid the price for us to live peacefully in this life (Isa. 53:5)!
But it's important to realize that peace doesn't come automatically—there is something for us to do.
It's true that Jesus has given us His peace. Like the rest of the fruit of the spirit, it becomes part of our new nature when we are born again. But just like the other fruit of the spirit, we have to yield to peace in order for it to manifest in our lives.
And we must choose not to yield to anxiety and fear. It takes a conscious commitment to be obedient to God's Word and walk in the fruit of the spirit.
In John 14:27 Jesus comforts us with these words:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. …Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.Live in Undisturbed Places of Rest
There is plenty of trouble in the world. Without the protection of God, things are unsure in this life. But Isaiah 32:17-18 assures us that,
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest."If we want to live in peace, we have to pursue righteousness, we have to follow God and obey His Word. The reward is substantial…quietness, confidence, peaceful dwelling places, secure homes, and rest!
Peace is such a powerful force that even if your circumstances are turned upside down and inside out, or you're caught right in the middle of a war, or you're experiencing tremendous emotional turmoil, even then the peace of God can rise up within you and bring you a sense of well-being.
It is a blessing of God that no matter what's happening on the outside, you and I can live in peace. The truth is, we can be undisturbed during any crisis situation when we're vitally connected to God.
Peace Is an Umpire
Another wonderful aspect of peace is that it acts as God's signpost for guidance. When you have a question about what you should do, the Bible says to: "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts..." (Col. 3:15).
Peace on earth is possible. It's God's will for every one of His children...including you. There's no peace outside of God and His Word—outside of believing and trusting Him. So choose to spend time in prayer and in the Word and let the peace of God rule and reign in your life.
This is my heartfelt prayer for you:
May God, the giver of hope, fill you with all joy and peace because you trust in Him-so that you may be overflowing with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Excerpt permission granted by
Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc.
aka: Kenneth Copeland Ministries