FINDING INNER PEACE IN JESUS

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FINDING INNER PEACE IN JESUS

We are all looking for peace. Whether it be peace in the world, peace in our country, peace in our neighborhood or peace in our home; peace is something we deeply desire. But the place we want peace the most is in our minds.

Let’s face it, there are many things which keep us up at night. If we are in a rut, we worry about getting out of that rut; and even if we are on a high, we worry that the ‘bull run’ is not going to last.

But the future is not the only thing that keeps us up at night. The injustice of having mean things said to us, the demoralizing way that we got unfairly treated in the office; these things take away our peace too. And conversely, if we were the ones who were mean and treated others unfairly, the guilt robs us of our peace.

One more thing that robs us of our peace is our desires. Like fads and fashion, some things preoccupy our minds to the point of being obsessions. Any grease monkey who just got his hands on a beat-up classic or tech geek who just landed himself the latest game console will understand what I mean. Them and the ones who just fell in love. We obsess over our latest love, don’t we? We spend every waking moment thinking about it, fussing over it and then every sleeping moment dreaming about it. And soon, when something goes awry, we lose our peace.

So whether it be worry, injustice, guilt or even desires, many things take away our peace. And while sometimes it may be fun to lose a little sleep over your new game console, or burn the midnight oil trying to perfect the injector flow in your new V8; losing peace is, for the most part, a painful experience, sometimes with disastrous psychological consequences.

It is no wonder then that modern man spends an inordinate amount of time and effort trying to achieve inner peace. Whether it be exercise and meditation, or counselling and medication, we go in search of peace like bees to honey. And for a time, we do find it; our exercise helps, our meditation calms, we make progress during our counselling sessions, and when all else fails, our medication helps fill in the gaps. But soon enough, the exercise takes a toll on our bodies, we fall asleep during meditation, we get tired of hearing the same things from our shrinks and we have to stop medication because it has taken a toll on our liver. What then?

Well, beloved, the prophet Isaiah tells us that there is a better way; trust. But this is not just any trust, but trust in our Father and in Jesus.

“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character],
Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].” Isaiah 26:3 [AMP]

If you haven’t already realized it, experts will tell you that peace starts with the mind, so the removal of peace begins in the mind too; and it all starts with an anxious thought. That thought will then affect your emotions. Your emotions will then cause a physiological response. That physiological response will then trigger a behavioral response. And there goes your peace. Let me give you an example.

A couple just started dating and are getting to know one another, so they still don’t really know just what makes the other tick.

One day, the guy, as always, sends the girl a text. But this time, the girl, who usually responds within the minute, still hasn’t responded after an hour. Now, here’s what happens.

First, a thought enters the guy’s head, ‘maybe she’s already bored of me.’

This thought then triggers the emotional response of confusion, because there were no signs that suggested this prior to today; and dejection, because this is the third girl that has treated him like this.

These emotions trigger a physiological response. His heart rate goes up from the anxiety, he starts to perspire because of the increased blood flow, his body recognizes these signs from the last relationship and it triggers the unpleasant memories of last relationship.

So to prevent all those bad things from happening to him again, he decides to tell the girl, after not hearing from her for an hour and a half, that it is over between them because she has lost her heart for him. The thought has just come full circle and resulted in an action.

Meanwhile, the tech boffins over at the telco just fixed the dispatch relay which was holding up the flow of messages and the girl, who was wondering why he never texted when he usually would, suddenly gets the flood of messages from the guy. Imagine how she feels. Oops.

But if his mind was steadfast and focused on the fact that because our Father has promised,

“…I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

If he stuck to his committed resolve to believe that because Jesus has promised,

“…whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

He would have been able to challenge the thought of ‘maybe she’s already bored of me’ and realize that; because he met her under miraculous circumstances, because their relationship spawned from unimaginable situations, because he specifically heard from our Father that she was ‘the one’, because she was exactly the kind of girl he was praying for; that thought had no place in his mind and their life.

And because he trusts and takes refuge in our Father with hope and confident expectation that only good things will come from the relationship, he hangs on and decides not to give in to the bad thought. Now imagine how different the situation will be, once the dispatch relay got fixed?

Now, I’m not suggesting that all God-purposed relationships must be forged from miraculous circumstances, nor am I saying that you should divorce your spouse because you never heard anything from God that was specifically related to them. What I am saying is when bad things happen, as long as we stay our minds on the fact that Jesus said,

“...I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age.” Matthew 28:20 [AMPC]

We can “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Indeed, when we keep our mind steadfast and focus on the fact that whatever the circumstances, Jesus said,

“…My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 [AMPC]

Not only will our minds be kept in perfect and constant peace, our inclinations, our character; that is to say our behavior and our actions; will fall in line with His promises.

You see, when you trust and hope with confident expectation that if you are in trouble, just like to Israel, our Father said,

“I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.” Exodus 3:7-8

So too does our Father say to you that surely He has seen your oppression and heard your cry; and so He is coming now to deliver you and lead you into a land flowing with milk and honey.

And when you consider “…what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?” Matthew 7:9-10

Then you will know that “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

So there is no need to turn to underhanded means just so you can put bread on the table. There is no need to resort to putting down your colleagues and staff just to get ahead in the office. There is no need to be dishonest with your declarations just so you can clinch that deal. Because indeed,

“…My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 [AMPC]

It’s not about how weak you are. It’s about how strong He is. It’s not about how poor you are. It’s about how rich He is. It’s not about how wretched you are. It’s about how clean Jesus made you once you accepted His gift of redemption because when He went to the cross for you,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

And since you are now the righteousness of God in Jesus, how can God our Father be against you? How can God our Father be anything but ‘for’ you?

So, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

Yes, there are those who are coming against you. Yes, your deliverance has yet to manifest. Yet,

“The Lord knows those who are His” 2 Timothy 2:19

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:3

Beloved, the secret to inner peace is knowing that you are the beloved of our Father. He is watching and He will deliver. Indeed,

“People with their minds set on you,
you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
because they keep at it and don’t quit.” Isaiah 26:3 [MSG]

So fix your thoughts on Him (Isaiah 26:3 [NKJV]), rest your desires on Him (Isaiah 26:3 [CJB]) and

“Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner],
For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].” Isaiah 26:4 [AMP]

“Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.” Isaiah 26:4 [MSG]

And you shall have peace.

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