Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

08/02/2017

Charles Cash

PEACE

“Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

(Romans 5:1)

 

  Justification and peace come through a faith obedient to Jesus Christ. The original Greek word is, “eirene,” from which comes the name Irene, was originally the name of the Goddess of Peace. Thayer, the noted Greek Lexicographer, defined this word as “a conception distinctly peculiar to Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God.” This is the peace Jesus had in mind when He said to His disciples, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.” (John 14:27)

 

  In the midst of a turbulent world, peace can be found only beneath the stormy surface. It is comparable to the depths of the ocean which remain undisturbed by surface storms, no matter how frequent or violent they rage. Peace is much more than a rosy religious dream that is blind and oblivious to problems of this world, and glosses over the realities of life. It is a deep inner sense of being at one with God. Even the crusty sceptic, Bertrand Russell, wrote, “Man’s greatest triumph is to achieve stability and inner peace in a world of shifting threats and terrifying change!” His words really sound contemporary, don’t they? But what Russell failed to mention is that people are seeking peace in the wrong places. Everyone needs and desires this peace. Even noted infidels and atheists who spent their lives fighting the influence of God and the Bible on their death beds called for some kind of peace with God.

 

  One cannot turn to God for peace, in and of itself, like going out and buying an insurance policy or a bottle of Tylenol. Peace is a spiritual commodity, a fruit of the Spirit that comes, not by direct pursuit, but as a result of a surrendered life to the Lord. Paul wrote, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” (Galatians 5:22) Peace is not something that is achieved; it is received. It is impossible to have the feeling of peace and serenity without being in the right relationship with God. Isaiah wrote: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You. Because he trusts in You.”(Isaiah 26:3)

 

  Peace is a sentinel that guards our hearts and lives. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7) If we will submit our lives to God in childlike faith with no reservations, this peace that transcends our full understanding will guard us from spiritual harm.

 

  Peace should rule our lives! “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace, and be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15) Let the peace of Christ be the final rule in all your thoughts and deeds. Someone once wrote: “Make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me show love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.”

 

  John Greenleaf Whittier wrote these beautiful and meaningful lines:

 

“Prince of peace control my will,

Bid this struggling heart be still;

Bid my tears and doubtings cease—

Hush my spirit into peace.

May Thy will, not mine, be done;

May Thy will and mine be one—

Chase these doubtings from my heart;

Now Thy perfect peace impart.”

 

—Charles Cash