Yesterday there was a sharing about the topic, the peace of the Lord. I was think that it is a topic worth talking about on the blog, hence I have decided to rearrange the points over here.

What Is The Peace Of Jesus Like? How Different is it compared to peace on earth?

Lets take a quick look at the peace Jesus promised in the bible as well as the comments of Paul

“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.” – Jesus (Jn 14:27)

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – Jesus (Jn 14:27)

“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.” – Paul (Php 4:6-7)

As many modern Christians will think of the peace of God as peace in the world, having prayers answered and having no troubles in the world. But over here there are a few conclusions we can safely draw.

1. The Peace Of the Lord is not a physical peace
2. Jesus made it clear that a Christian will face tribulations in their life on earth
3. The peace of Jesus allow the Christians not to feel afraid or troubled in the midst of tribulation.
4. This peace is one that surpass all understanding, and received through prayers and supplication with thanksgiving in heart.

From here let us now take a look at examples from the bible to see what this peace can do for people who believed in God

1.0 The Peace When Facing Persecutions

Initially, when the church was established by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, God added to the church often. But as the church was at her infancy, she received countless of persecutions from many people around.

Examples of Oppositions are
1. Herod and his herodians
2. The Pharisees and Sadducee’s in the Sanhedrin.
3. The Romans

Let us table this up and take a quick look at them.

Persecutions faced by Church

If we were to read the bible readings the the chart, we will notice many interesting facts, while the modern Christians often branded together as “Prayer Warriors” to ask God to open the door of salvation, very often they were expecting a smooth entry and some even claimed that they could hear the “door cracking open” when they say their prayers. Many a times we expect God to smooth out all oppositions and troubles so that we could easily and freely preach the gospel, as if persecutions and sufferings are something that should not happen.

But we can see thats not the attitude of the early church. They accepted the sufferings as the price of pay for following Jesus, they must have recalled the words of Jesus in Jn 15:18-23. here we can see the peace of Jesus at its full work, comforting and encouraging the Christians to move forward despite that persecutions. People who like to reason logically will wonder, why is the church so joyful even when they are imprisoned, and beaten by the Sanhedrin, and why are they still able to carry on despite all the troubles they run into.

You can see that instead asking God to smoothen the path and lessen the persecutions, they pray to God to increase their boldness, so that they will be able to face it and do the will of God. They rejoiced that they have a part in the suffering of Christ. I guess that is the part of that peace that really surpass all understanding.

1.1 Why is peace in the midst of persecution so important to Christian?

I believe every Christian will recall the words of Jesus as well as Paul’s letter

” For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” – Jesus (Matt 24:21-22)

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” – Paul (2 Tim 3:12)

This is at truth that in the ends times it is difficult to lead a godly life before Jesus. And Christians will face persecution in the last days. Only by relying on the peace of God and prayers can one continue to walk the way of God. Only by having the right perspective to sufferings and using the right responses, can a Christian be able to stand firm in the midst of persecutions. Therefore it is necessary for us to understand how we could receive the peace of Christ to help us overcome all obstacles in our walk with God

2.0 The Peace When Facing Death

Besides giving Christians peace in the midst of persecution, the peace of God give us strength even in the face of death. This is testified very often in the bible, let us take a look at some extracts from the books of Acts as well as what the apostles wrote about.

“And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” – Luke The Physician when talking about the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 7:59-60)

“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison”- Luke The Physician taking about Peter imprisonment by Herod, who intends to kill him like James (Acts 12:5-6)

Most people who had experience of inmates who are facing executions the following day, will testify that the calmness displayed by Peter is one that surpass understanding. Most inmates in face of death will find it hard to sleep just before their execution, while they ordered expensive and good food for their final supper, most of them will have lost all appetite to eat. While some may say that this is just a observation from Luke, let us see what the Apostles have to say about facing death.

“What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” – Paul (Acts 21:13)
“Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.” – Paul (Php 2:17-18)

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” – Paul (2 Tim 2:6-8)

It is commonly believe that the book of Philippians and 2 Tim were written during Paul second imprisonment in Rome, where he was finally executed before the Emperor Nero

“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.” – Peter (2 Pet 1:12-15)

Church traditions holds that Peter wrote the letter close to his martyrdom in Rome before Emperor Nero, where he was crucified upside down.

2.1 The Reason For Peace

The reason for the Christians peace before death comes from the fact that we all share the same hope in God. Paul described the hope very clearly in his epistles

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” – Paul (2 Cor 5:1-5)

The fact that the Holy Spirit is given to the believers, is a guarantee that eventually we would resurrect and be with God. Therefore death is not something to be shunned by Christian and we often talk about resurrection and the hope in the life to come in our memorial service.

Christians are not perfect people and they are well aware that there are many things that we are unable fulfil the righteous requirement of God, but we know that God saves us not because we are righteous, but using his grace. Just like what Paul wrote to Titus

“not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” – Paul (Tit 3:5)

Christians can now face God because he had saved us and allow Christians to have a answer of good conscience before God (1 Pet 3:21). We know that we have the courage to face God despite our failures because the blood of Christ continually forgives and wash away our guilt before God. We need to work hard to follow the standards of God, but we know that he will save us in the very end. Even if we still fall short of the standard of God.

It is because of this hope that gives the Christian the peace necessary to face even death.

2.3 Why is peace in face of death so important to Christian?

This peace is important for all man because of what the author of Hebrews once shared

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,” – Author Of Hebrews (Heb 9:27)

We are well aware, that no matter how much good we have done, we know of many occasion’s where we are unable to perform what is right before our God, just as it was spoken by the prophets long ago

“But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away. ” – Isaiah (Is 64:6)

Even if one is not a Christian, they are well aware of how their conscience can prick them. So how many of us would be able to face God with a clear conscience? This is one of the reason why many people shun death and are afraid of it.

While many of the people of the world worked hard to guess when would the end of days be coming, but how many of us would have imagine that our own lives are just as fragile and even if the end of the world did not come, we may have to face the end of our lives too.

James the brother of Jesus once said

“whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” – James (Jas 4:14)

Therefore to be able to understand and the know the peace of Jesus with regards to this is important.

At the End Of The Day

Now, as we study and understand the peace of God, let us follow the encouragement of Paul to the church of Colosse

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Paul (Col 3:15-17)

Let us all constantly remember the peace of God and remind each other, especially when we see the coming of God is at hand.

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