by Matt Slick
Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." (John 14:27). Peace is lost in the world without Christ. People worry, wait, doubt, and long for things they covet. They want. They need. They demand. They must have just one more thing, or one more fulfilled desire. Without direction from God, they ingrain in themselves false needs and hopes which are out of the will of God and then complain to God and doubt Him when their self-centered prayers go unanswered. The result is a lack of peace. So, to solve this problem people often try to create a false peace with alcohol, drugs, sex, or other addictions. Sometimes they deny their sin and push away the conviction of the Holy Spirit. They no longer feel the touch of God's correcting movement in their hearts. They are left to their own ways.
Those lost in the cults also want peace. They want to believe that what they are following is going to help them and get them to heaven. So, they study their false doctrines looking for half-truths that will lull their souls into a false rest. They want to be made to feel safe and at rest in their hearts.
Unbelievers want peace. But, they don't turn to God for it. They look within. They try to muster up a self-assurance, reachable expectations, and, they hope, when they achieve them, they might have confidence and peace as a result. The sad truth is that sometimes these things give them peace. But, it is a false peace. It is false because it is not based on God. It is based upon themselves, their desires, and their possessions.
True peace can only be found in being in the will of God. True peace is a gift from God found only through Christ. Think about it. If you knew you were in the will of God, and even though things were tough, would you have peace in your heart? I hope so. If you did, then your confidence and hope in life would not be based upon the situations around you, but upon God who lives in you. That way, true peace will always be yours.
I can remember a time in my life when the simple answer "yes" or "no" would have a profound affect on the direction of my future. If I answered "yes" then I could stay in the profession for which I had been trained for years - the pastorate. If I answered "no" then I would have to leave it and find something else to do. Three godly men waited for my answer. I knew that I could tell them what they were hoping (which was not my position concerning charismatic gifts) and then I would be able to remain a pastor. But, I knew I could do nothing but answer as completely truthful as possible, according to the conviction of my heart, and that doing so would mean years of study and internship would be for naught. At that point, realizing the seriousness of the decision, I reflected on my relationship with God. I wanted to please Him, even if it cost me. So, I answered according to the convictions of my heart. As a result, I lost the pastorate to which I had been called. But, I had peace in my heart knowing I had been as truthful as I could be before the Lord. If I had shaded my answer just a bit, I could have remained in the pastorate. But, I knew I would have had no peace in my heart and would have no right to preach if I gave an answer that others wanted to hear. It was not worth it. I answered the call of integrity knowing that God was looking at my heart. I answered truthfully. It cost me greatly. But, that is okay.
Peace is rest in the heart. Though life may be hard, though our bodies be frail, though pain is our companion, to be in the will of God is to abide in the peace of God. Let me find the will of God and walk in it and let all other things be as they may.
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence," (2 Pet.1:2-3).