by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.
- Summary: The hurts, pressures, and disappointments of this life can weigh down your heart. Come see how the peace of God can bring you back to great emotional victory.
- Explanatory note: This is not so much a “sermon”, but more a devotional study of the powerful inner healing available from what the Scriptures call the “peace of God”. It is my hope that these verses will bring refreshing to your soul.
Judges 6:23-24 But the LORD said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace.
- •• “Jehovah-Shalom” — the Lord is Peace. Gideon was fearful of imminent death. But the Lord’s immediate and encouraging reply was, “Peace! ... You are not going to die.”
- •• In the place of fear, even fear of death, Gideon experienced the peace of God, a peace that proceeded from God’s very Person.
- •• If you are at a point in your life where fear is gripping you, be still for a moment and hear God’s assurance to you: “Peace! Do not be afraid,” says Jehovah-Shalom.
Psalm 4:8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
- •• Insomnia troubles millions of people. Sometimes there is a biological or medical cause, which needs physical healing. At other times, the restless sleep or even lack of sleep comes from inner mental or emotional turmoil. That condition can be wonderfully overcome by embracing the peace of God.
- • Notice the underlying cause of the Psalmist’s ability to sleep in peace: he trusted entirely in the Lord’s protection — “...for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
• As you prepare for sleep, I encourage you each night to pray that portion of the Lord’s Prayer that says, “Our Father in heaven ... deliver us from evil [and the evil one]...” Then, confident in the Lord’s presence and protection, you can “lie down and sleep in peace”.
Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.
- •• Fill your heart with God’s word, the Bible, and you will automatically be filling your heart with God’s peace.
- •• So many times I, like you, have faced difficult times in life. At such times I have found time and again that the words of Scripture replace anxiety, worry, and fear with the tranquility that comes with the peace of God. The words of God in the Bible are an ever-present source of peace for your mind and heart.
Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body.
- •• This is a powerful example of the psyche-soma connection in the Bible — that is the strong effect the state of our inner man, our soul or psyche [Greek], has over our body or soma. In modern times medical science has caught on to this long-standing Bible truth about the “psychosomatic” factor in physical health and healing.
- •• The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that a heart at peace has a profound effect on the physical health and well-being of the body — it “gives life to the body”.
- •• Pray to God, read His word regularly, worship Him both in church and in your private times, and you will surely find that the peace of God that fills your heart will have a beneficial impact upon your physical well-being.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
King James Version: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
- •• Perfect peace! What a desirable state of mind that would be. And in this verse God provides two avenues to that “perfect peace”:
- 1. Fix, or “stay”, your mind on Him. Make Him regularly the focus of your thoughts.
- 2. Trust in Him. A friend of ours once gave us a small plaque with this profound saying on it: “It’s always safe to trust the Lord.”
- • And from these two things — (1) a mind focused on God and (2) an abiding trust in Him — you can come to a state of “perfect peace” in your heart.
Mark 5:34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
- •• Jesus healed the woman then; Jesus still heals today!
- • If you are facing serious health issues, follow the example of that ill woman and reach out in faith to Jesus. Imagine yourself touching the hem of His garment and having Him turn to you and say, “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
- •• Jesus’ words remind us that it is not man-created peace, but rather the peace of God, that calms our troubled hearts.
- • Jesus reminded them that it was His peace — peace from Him — that would allow them to face life’s troubles without fear and trepidation. His peace is abiding, powerful, life-changing, lasting. The world’s so-called “peace” is often just a transient feeling that results from man’s faulty methods and philosophies, none of which have brought lasting peace to this earth.
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
- •• Similar to the previous Scripture, this verse quotes Jesus assuring us of three important facts:
- 1. In this world we will have trouble. To believe otherwise is to be naive and even antibiblical.
- 2. But in the midst of that predictable trouble, we may find peace in Him! Trouble in the world, but the inward peace of Christ in the very midst of the trouble.
- 3. And He gives us the assurance that the troubles will not triumph over us, since Jesus Himself has overcome the world. Therefore, we may “take heart” and rest in His peace in the very midst of troubles and trials.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- •• Two little prepositions in these verses (“with” and “of”) give us a wonderful revelation about God’s peace.
- • Upon repenting of our sins and believing in Jesus, we are justified by faith, are born again by the Spirit, and enter into a relationship of peace with God. Our sins, which had once kept us at enmity with God, are forgiven through Jesus Christ. And now we find ourselves at peace with God, rather than in opposition to Him.
- • Now, as born-again children of God, at peace with Him, we can find great peace in prayer. We bring our anxieties to Him in prayerful petition, with thanksgiving, and as a result we find our hearts and minds wonderfully filled with the peace of God. He replaces our anxieties with His peace.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him...
- •• It’s a short verse, with a simple but powerful truth — that is, we can be filled with peace as we trust in the Lord. I find that when I don’t do this, anxieties begin to crowd into my thoughts. Then as I rest in the Lord and trust in Him for all things, the peace returns.
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
- •• We have a choice to make. We can hold onto our anxieties, fears, and stresses. Or we can let Christ’s peace “rule in [our] hearts”. My natural tendency is to allow troubles to cause me to fret. But over the years, in the light of Scriptures like these, I have learned (and am still learning) to let the peace of Christ rule in my heart, to deliberately turn my cares over to Him and consciously allow Him to replace them with His own peace. Try it; it works!
2 Thessalonians 3:16a Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.
- •• That is my closing prayer for you — that you will find the Lord’s peace filling your hearts and minds “at all times and in every way”. “Let” His peace rule in your hearts, and you will find life’s troubles much easier to manage under the influence of the wonderful peace of God.
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©2009, James H. Feeney. Copyright statement.