May. 7, 2022

Anxiety, or the Prince of Peace?

 

Ephesians 2:14. “… He is our peace…”

Psalm 119:15,16. “I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”

Philippians 4:8,9. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

There are many troubled people in these days who have no peace. Anxiety is the real epidemic. Circumstantially speaking, is it any wonder? These are the times that try men’s souls and make known what we’re really made of. 

Peace - especially of heart, and mind, and that seemingly ever evasive peace that passes all understanding - seems to be in short supply that cannot meet the demand. However, is this actually the case? Or is it that acquiring it has been attempted by means not actually designed to deliver the true and lasting peace God wants for us, the peace which the world cannot give?

Peace is said by the Bible to be a fruit of the Holy Spirit. This indicates that real peace comes from, and is the result of, abiding in and living forth from the reality of a union already wrought for us by the work, passion, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. In Him all that is against God was put to death - specifically sin and death, self, and the devil’s authority over us. We are purchased and won by the blood of Jesus Christ! In Him we were also raised up as new creatures. This is a truth to contemplate until it sinks in and becomes a living reality for and within us. That is where final peace comes from: that He as overcome the world, and we are in Him through the Holy Spirit in new birth. We live by this faith.

The lovely qualities found in the Philippians passage are best embodied by the things on which the Psalmist meditates in the above verses: God’s ways, precepts, statutes, words. His truth. All revealing our Lord Jesus Christ!

While there are many good, positive, and beautiful things in the natural world and life to which we may give our attention, all these pale in comparison to devotion to God and to His Way, the Way of eternal life in Christ. As Christians it is imperative to acknowledge - with much faith, vigor, adoration, study, devotion, holy living, and praise - this Way of being, of living in His ever present Presence, where we experience the Truth of all that He promises. After all, He desires to show us the Way Home… or perhaps rather, in a manner of speaking, to help us see that we are Home, and to live within that new reality, that “place prepared for us.” Wonder of wonders, we dwell in Him and here on this Earth.

Here is ever present peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding, within the Prince of Peace - in Whom we live, move, and have our being. He is perfect Love, Who forgives all our iniquities, Who cleanses us from all sin, and Who heals all our diseases… Some things need to be removed that block the way of peace. The question is, am I willing to surrender them all to Him?

He says, “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, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27.  

These days it’s so easy to be caught up in being attentive to how evil the world is. True, there’s no denying how evil it it. Yet - in prayerful attention to God and His word - might we be blessed with the wisdom and direction with which to confront the times, instead of always focusing on how badly the sky is falling? After all, when it comes to what’s needed to accomplish the reason we’re here, does he also not promise ungrudging wisdom to all who ask without self seeking motives?

It’s important to remember that while we are in this evil world, we are not of it. While we are, as those who love our Lord Jesus, perceived by those of the world essentially as otherworldly invaders, here to upset the applecart of the “good times”, it is imperative to remember that we have come, in the Lordship of Jesus Christ, to be as He was, about our Father’s business, revealing His likeness. 

As representatives of His Kingdom which is not of this world system, we also are here to seek and to save souls lost and fallen to this world. For such was shed the blood of His Son, in order to ransom all to whom new life in Him is offered, a new life freed from the dominion of sin and its wages death, from Satan, and the fallen self which connects to them both.

Our warfare is against the hosts of darkness, not against the captives of this system, although many of them seem to suffer from a heavy dose of massive spiritual Stockholm Syndrome, as they willingly comply with, serve, and promote the will of their captors. We pray and speak the truth, never forgetting the real nature of the warfare - the Christ Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and to bring many sons to glory. (1 John 3:8. Hebrews 2:10)

Let us pray, listen, and work according to the direction of God’s Word illumined by the Holy Spirit, on behalf of those for whom we’ve been sent.

Soli Deo Gloria! 

Amen.

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