Pursue Peace (Part 1 of 2)

If you were to watch a beauty pageant today, one of the question the contestants would be asked is; “If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?” The answer most likely would be; “World peace.”  It sounds corny and too simple, yet most people don’t have peace. Countries, nations, and governments long for peace. Children to adults thrive on peace. How does one find peace in a not so peaceful world?

Do you have peace? If not, see what is taking your peace away. Unhealthy relationships? Low self-esteem? Wrong viewpoint on life? Striving in relationships? Walking down the wrong road? Go to the Prince of Peace (Jesus) and give it all to Him. You will always find peace there!

This is a two part message. The first; “Pursue Peace” and the second; “Peace Robbers!” Let’s look into why we need peace and from where is our source of peace, then we will look into what robs our peace and how to guard against it.

Why Pursue Peace?

1.  Prince of peace

Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. If you want to know what peace looks like, look to Jesus. The word “peace” in this passage means: “safe, well, happy, friendly; welfare, health, prosperity, and favor.” (Strongs Hebrew and Greek Definitions – H7965)

Jesus is the essence of safety, being well or happy, spiritual prosperity and favor. He is for you and not against you. He wants you to succeed and not fail. He is your biggest cheerleader in your life. In fact, He is everything you need. He is the Prince of peace. Prince indicates royalty and authority, or His very make up of who He is: Peace!

I am sure you have heard the statement:  “Know God = Know Peace, No God = No Peace?” In this case, know Jesus, the Prince of peace and you will know what true peace really is.

Peace in the Webster Dictionary means:  “1.) a state of tranquillity or quiet: as a): freedom from civil disturbance, b) a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom, 2.) freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions, 3.) harmony in personal relations, 4.) a) a state or period of mutual concord between governments, b) a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, 5.)—used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell.”

The Lord gives us peace when we call out to Him. Peace in our life, community, thoughts and emotions, those who we have had enmity with, or anything or anyone we may have strife with.

2.  The Lord gives His peace to us

Isaiah 26:3, 4 (NCV)

“You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you, because they trust you.

So, trust the Lord always, because he is our Rock forever.” 

There is no one better to trust then God Himself. When we depend on Him, and trust Him He brings us His peace even in the middle of a storm.

John 14:27 (NKJV)

“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.”

This verse is so powerful to show that God’s peace, and how He gives it, is not like the world’s peace. God’s peace is unshakable and all powerful. God’s peace comes even when the trial or storm is still present. The world’s peace comes only when the tragedy is passed. God’s peace calms and reassures us that He is in control and loves us. God’s peace is eternal and transcends all time and space. The world’s peace is flighty and unpredictable. It could be here one day (no war or turmoil) and gone the next. This is not true with God and His peace.

Thessalonians 3:16 (NCV)

“Now may the Lord of peace give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 

3.  Covenant of peace

Isaiah 54:10 (NKJV)

“For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed, Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” 

We have a covenant of peace with God. He promises not to remove it from us. Yes, we can make bad choices or this world will try and take His peace away from us (See “Peace Robbers” in part 2) but God’s peace is always available for us to walk in daily.

Let’s look at the definition of the word peace again. Going back to the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Definitions, but taking it down to the primitive root (H7999): “to be safe (in mind, body or estate); to be completed; to be friendly; to reciprocate: make amends, end, finish, full, give again, make good, peace (-able), that is perfect, perform, prosper, recompense, render, requite, make restitution, restore, and reward.”

The covenant of peace guards our hearts and minds in Christ (Philippians 4:6 – 7). It washes away all anxiety that we may feel towards our circumstances. We feel safe and secure. We are complete in Him no matter what people or the world may say. A covenant is more then a contract. Covenant means to choose or be chosen, to be selected (Strongs H1262). We have been chosen to receive God’s peace. Why? The sacrifice of God’s Son has paid the price. The Prince of Peace has been crucified for you and for me. God never takes His covenants away. We can walk away from it, but it is our doing, not God’s. Therefore, If we fail to have peace, we have to look and see what is taking our peace away. We will discuss the “Peace Robbers” in our next session to better get a grasp on where our peace might have gone. In the meantime, we pursue and guard our peace every day.

4.  Peace guards and keeps us

Philippians 4:6, 7 (NKJV)

“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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” 

Are you praying your anxieties away? This is what I do daily in my prayer time. Thoughts can overwhelm us and overtake us if we let them, that is why we have to guard our peace. Interesting, as peace will guard us and protect us as we cast our cares on God. A guard is placed in front of a castle or palace to protect those inside. Their job is make sure no one, nothing, gets into the castle that is not allowed. Peace is our guard. It’s job is to protect us from anything or anyone getting into our thought life that will take our safety away. Peace guards our hearts and prevents our emotions and even logic to overtake our thinking. Peace is a friend to wisdom. When we apply Godly wisdom to relationships, emotions, circumstances, or anything trying to rob us from our peace, we make better choices in dealing with all of these things and our peace is never robbed from us.

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

“You will keep  him  in perfect peace,  Whose  mind  is  stayed  on You,  Because he trusts in You.”

It’s interesting because the word “Perfect” means complete, and the word “peace” can also mean complete. (See Hebrew and Greek definitions) You can also read “perfect peace” as “peace, peace.” In other words, Complete, safe, soundness, and over all lacking nothing is what happens when we keep our minds on God and what He can do. “You will keep him in perfect peace,” the word, “keep” also means “guard.” How awesome is it that God guards us in complete safety and soundness as we trust Him and keep our focus on Him.

Peace is extremely important for our health and over all life.

Psalm 4:8 (AMP)

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety  and confident trust.”

5.  Pursue peace

Hebrews 12:14 (NKJV)

“Pursue peace with all  people,  and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

If we want to have peace we have to pursue it. Just like if we want to have friends, or food, or anything we need in life, we must pursue it. Relationships are hard to maintain. When a man and woman get married, they have to work on their relationship to keep it going and to stay healthy. They have to pursue peace in their home and in their relationship or one or both will want to end the relationship.

Peace can be taken from us so easily that is why we have to pursue it.

Psalm 34:14 (AMP)

“Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for,  and  crave peace and pursue (go after) it!” 

Peace is like a rare jewel that we have to pursue and protect. It is precious. Do you thrive on chaos? Do you crave turmoil? No, we need to crave peace. Every day try and find peace, and if you are having trouble, look to see what is taking your peace away. Stress? Business? Relationships? Job? What is taking your peace away? Pursue peace in every area of your life. If you are constantly in turmoil, it will take a tole on your body and much more.

Romans 14:19 (AMP)

“So let us then definitely aim for  and eagerly pursue what makes for harmony and for mutual upbuilding (edification and development) of one another.”

One of the biggest robbers of peace is being critical and judgmental. That is why we need to learn the art of encouraging and edifying others. It doesn’t take much to bring someone down with your words. Seriously that is the wimpy way of living. It takes a strong person, who loves people, to build others up with encouragement and love. This is what Jesus always did. He reached out to the sinners and tax collectors, the very ones the Pharisees rejected. When you encourage others, your life is more peaceful. When you judge others, your life is more in turmoil. So, make peace where ever you go and whoever you are with.

James 3:18 (NKJV)

“Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” 

6.  Be filled with peace to give hope

Romans 15:13 (AMP)

“May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.”  

Again peaceful people attract and hostel people repel. Peaceful people are hopeful people. Without hope, people give up. This verse talks about overflowing or bubbling over with hope. It is like joy, you just can’t contain it but have to let it out. Hope and peace go hand in hand. It is having that peaceful assurance that God is there, working things out for us, and has good plans for our lives. It is a sweet confidence (God confidence) in our everyday life. We are not here by accident. God does have plans for you and wants you to fulfill those plans. Being filled with peace is allowing God to calm all the anxieties and concerns in us. Knowing He will answer. Maybe not on our time table, but He will answer.

7.  Greet and send people in peace

In the New Testament the authors would either greet or conclude with a word of peace. Starting in Romans all the way to Revelations you will see this. They were trying to tell us something about peace. They were expressing the importance of having, keeping, and maintaining peace. Here are just a few:

Romans 1:7 (NKJV)

“To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be Saints:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Cor. 1:3 (NKJV)

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Cor. 1:2 (NKJV)

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Cor. 13:11 (NKJV)

“Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 

Live in peace. Choose to be peaceful. Choose to pursue peaceful relations. Choose, live, and dwell in peace. Peaceful people attract while hostel people repel.

Gal. 1:3 (NKJV)

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Gal. 6:16 (NKJV)

“And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”

1 Thess. 5:23 (NKJV)

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Peace” also means spiritual prosperity in the broadest sense. Submit your whole spirit, soul, and body completely to the sanctifying work of God, the God of peace. (New Spirit Filled Life Bible study notes)

2 Thess. 3:16 (NKJV)

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”

Titus 1:4 (NKJV)

“Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.”

Hebrews 13:20 (NKJV)

“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete (perfect) in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

2 Peter 1:2 (NKJV)

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

2 John 1:3 (NKJV)

“Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”

Revelation 1:4b (NKJV)

“Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before His throne…”

People need hope. People need peace. Let us be those who pursue peace within ourselves and with others. Showing hope to a hopeless world around us is our call in life. Let us be Peace Keepers and givers of peace. You will be more healthier if you do!

Don’t let any one or any thing rob you of your peace. Be looking for Part 2, Peace Robbers coming soon.

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com 

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2 thoughts on “Pursue Peace (Part 1 of 2)

  1. Pingback: Word Filled Wednesday – Enough | Lkg4btrlife's Blog

  2. Pingback: The Spirit Of Wisdom « bummyla

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