Kingdom Character: Growing in Peace

To pursue peace we have to have the courage to go after it in the first place.

If you turn on the television or radio or observe social media, much of what you’ll see is trouble, heartache, and fear. Peace is something that people desire to have down deep inside, but it’s not easy to achieve without God.

Jesus knew that we would face trouble in this world when He said to His disciples: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We can count on His peace to sustain and comfort us during difficulties. We can overcome whatever we’re facing because He’s already overcome the world!

Courage: The Stepping Stone to Peace

The stepping stone to peace is courage. Psalm 31:24 says, “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.” Sometimes we have to put on courage when we’re not feeling peaceful.

When the disciples were in their boat and saw Jesus walking on the water, fear gripped them. “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.’” When we feel afraid instead of peaceful, we need to find our courage and remember that Jesus is with us.

So courage does NOT mean to have no fear. In fact, courage doesn’t mean that you don’t have any fear; it means that even though you’re afraid, you do what’s right. For example, firefighters are not fearless as they run into a burning house; they have the courage to put themselves out there sacrificially to save another person, and that takes courage and boldness.

If you struggle with anxiety or fear, you may think that peace isn’t possible — but that’s why you need to take courage. We grow in peace through taking courage. The Bible instructs us to pursue peace; we don’t sit around and wait for peace to come. “Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). To pursue peace we have to have the courage to go after it in the first place.

Peace With God

Romans 5:10 tells us that before Jesus’s sacrifice, we were God’s enemies. However, “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). We are made right with God through Jesus, so we are at peace with God.

Jesus told His disciples: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). Jesus gave peace to His disciples, so that means we have permission to never be afraid! Be bold and refuse to be afraid – don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful!

You have permission to rebuke fear. Be like King David who constantly strengthened himself in the Lord. He spoke to his soul and told it to be calm (Psalm 42:5 & 11). He told his soul to straighten up and reminded himself of God’s faithfulness.

Peace With Others

God wants us to live in peace with each other. “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11). He wants us to walk through forgiveness and make things right.

We are to pursue peace with other people. For example, in Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus said, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

This means that if someone has something against us, and we’re aware of it, we’re supposed to go and try to make it right (whether it’s our fault or not). We are supposed to be peacemakers and to work it out, asking for and offering forgiveness. 2 Corinthians 5:18 says that we are called to the ministry of reconciliation which means we can bring peace to other people by introducing them to the Lord too.

Peace Within Ourselves

David prayed and asked God to help him have an undivided heart (Psalm 86:11). God doesn’t want us to be double-minded (James 1:8) but to be stable in all our ways. If you are back and forth about things or dealing with negative self-talk, then you don’t have peace within yourself.

One thing to consider is this: If God can forgive us, then who are we not to? So quit being hard on yourself and stop agreeing with the enemy. We must be sure to pursue inner healing to activate God’s peace internally.

God’s Supernatural Peace

God wants us to be peacemakers. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.” That’s our identity! If you sow peace and bring peace then you’ll be reconciled to others, showing that you truly are a child of God.

We need peace from God, but we also need the peace of God. God’s supernatural peace is available to us because of Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We must pray thankful, overcoming, confident, bold prayers. We must partner with God and say what He’s already saying about our situation rather than letting anxiety take root.

The peace OF God is supernatural. Anyone can find peace on a beach with the waves softly crashing on the sand. But, can we find the peace of God in the midst of suffering or trouble? We don’t have to have peace in the circumstances, but we can have peace in HIM, no matter what comes.

This supernatural peace doesn’t make sense because it enables us to remain calm, and it makes no sense that we’re calm. That’s because the peace of God guards our hearts and minds so that we can still feel and still think, even in the midst of chaos or turmoil. In fact, when we have a right relationship with God we can have peace no matter what we’re facing. The only way we can have the supernatural peace of God is by pursuing the Prince of Peace. That’s when we start displaying His character.

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2017-11-13T19:00:20+00:00