God is keeping his promises. We've crossed the racial barrier, the language barrier. Our children are becoming Christians, our families are becoming Christians. Marriages are on the rise. Every goal we set before the Lord, he always crushes it. It's an amazing time.
There's one last frontier where Satan wants to attack. One last thing he wants to take. Satan wants to rob us of inner peace. How's our attitude on the inside? God has done great things, but are we still critical? Do we have a haughty spirit? Are we encouraging one another all the more as the day approaches? Do we love like Jesus?
Are we still walking by one another without a word? Do we still have limits in our discipling? Are we still making room in our hearts for certain people, but not for others? Satan is banking on a lot of internal turmoil and favoritism to destroy God's church.
Are we still moody? Blaming it on our horoscope? Are we still an emotional wreck? Still worrying about things? Are we still wanting man's approval above God's approval? If we are still like this . . . Have to ask ourselves if we're really at peace. Can't be at peace with these attitudes
It's amazing all that God has done in the past several years. Who knows what in the next 10 years? What a pity, though, to have experienced all these miracles and not have inner peace. It will be so disappointing to God if we go through life without inner peace.
When we are not at peace, we become all the things we shared about earlier. We stop being encouraging. We can only encourage one another if we're all at peace. We need to become excellent at encouraging, at loving one another. We need to get good at that, because Satan isn't going to lie low for long.
In both the Old Testament and the New, peace is tantamount to salvation. It means bringing together what was separated. Picking up the pieces . . . Healing the wounds, overcoming forces of fragmentation by forgiving love. Shalom is the content of the rule of God. It's our deepest desire. We need it. It's the greatest contentment, the greatest fulfillment in life. Peace . . .
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Jesus in his own person was at peace. He had to display peace to be our source of peace. God grieved at the sin and corruption of the world. He's continually stirred by evil. He's not indifferent to the needs of his people.
The Lord said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
Then they got rid of the foreign gods among them and served the Lord. And he could bear Israel's misery no longer.
God was grieved, but not one of these things disturbed his inner peace. His perfect balance as a divine Prince of Peace was never upset. He could never give us peace if He were not perfect and unfailing himself.
Too many times we try to tell the Prince of Peace what to do.
78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes.
You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
The cool thing about Jesus is that he was always calm
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.
23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
28 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
29 "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
There are going to be storms in our lives. The Prince of Peace is waiting. Our storm is his path for us to come to him. Imagine being in the ocean in a little handmade boat in a storm like that. Holding onto one another, the boat rocking, thunder crashing, wind howling. You look in the distance, and there's a light drawing closer and closer.
Peter looked up, and it was Jesus, walking on the water! "If it's you, tell me to come to you on the water." "Come" The troubles, the storms are simply a path for the Prince of Peace to come to you. Imagine Peter getting out of the boat. He gets a bad rap, but he had guts. Then the thunder claps, Peter takes his eyes off of Jesus and sinks. Hand comes down--"Gotcha!" Jesus isn't smiling anymore. "Why did you doubt?"
Many times, when there are storms in our lives we don't see the path. The Prince of Peace wants to meet those needs. The storm didn't stop, by the way. It was all still going on, but in the midst of everything there was a peaceful voice. All we need is just a little bit of Jesus. Listen to the voice, and go to him. Don't complain about the storm. It's God's path to become your friend.
Peter knew two things: We're going down, and Jesus is standing up. Where would we want to be? We'd want to be where Jesus was. Imagine how serene Peter was, walking on the water toward Jesus. Our world is messed up, but look how peaceful it is in the kingdom of God.
Storms are God's path to bring us closer to him. That was the storm of "Are you truly committed?" We get faked out. The Lord will take care of us.