THE PEACE OF THE LORD IN US
Whatever the Lord taught the disciples, is still very useful for us too, no matter what age we live in. Jesus did not give the same instructions to the disciples, every time He sent them to minister, because the factors involved, differed from situation to situation. In Luke 9, we read about Jesus sending out of the twelve disciples to preach about the kingdom of God and to heal the sick, after they received “power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases" (v.1). At the beginning of chapter 10, we read that after a while, “the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them out ahead of Him, two by two, into every city and place where He was about to go” (v.1). At this time, the Lord reconfirmed to them that He would take care of their needs and then He continued with another important teaching that was beneficial for them, and it is still beneficial for us today.
Because the Holy Spirit lives in us, as born-again believers, we have the real peace of the Lord, which is, “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.” This peace is not just a feeling of peace or a greeting. According to the “Thayer’s Greek Lexicon”, the original word for “peace,” from Luke 10:5 means “security, safety, prosperity, felicity (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous).” So, the greeting actually means: “Let peace and blessedness, come to this household.” But only those who are “of peace,” who have a good heart can receive and enjoy this spiritual peace. That is why the Lord said that His peace will remain where we enter, if there is “anyone of peace,” who is sweet-spirited and hospitable. We all know that God is omnipresent, meaning that He is present everywhere, but this form of His presence, only manifests where His children are.
It is wonderful to know that our presence, as temples of the Holy Spirit can change the spiritual atmosphere when we go places. You may ask why this statement is not always true. Whenever we have a pure heart and we desire for the Holy Spirit to manifest His presence in and through us, those around us will notice, even if they do not understand what is different about us.
We are called to bear the presence of the Lord and the fruit, that the Holy Spirit produces in us, wherever we go. The more we are aware of this truth, the greater our impact will be on the lives of those around us. Also, our lives can be so much easier and peaceful, if we realize that because of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, we can change the spiritual atmosphere wherever we go. I think we can all say that there are places where we go happily, where we feel good and things go smoothly; and also the opposite, there are other places which we prefer to avoid, because we feel pressure, sadness and where nothing there seems to go right. From the following verse, we learn the cause of darkness and oppression in certain places:
That is why it is so important to keep our hearts pure (to ask for forgiveness as soon as we sin) and to equip ourselves with God's armor (Ephesians 6:13-17) to win the spiritual battles, as bearers of the peace, love and joy of the Holy Spirit.
Then Jesus said something else very important:
No matter how spiritually mature we are, if we continue to enjoy close relationships and spend a lot of time in dark places with those who are not God's children, it may cost us dearly. There might be times when we have no other choice, but to be in such places, but if we trust God and pray for a way out, the Lord will help us. Jesus has said that we should cut off all ties with those who continue to reject Him, so that we will not be drawn back into darkness. It seems a drastic measure, but it is necessary. We cannot afford to flirt with sin, if we want to have the peace of Jesus. The more we love Jesus, the less we like the things that we used to like and do with the worldly friends we used to have. If we continue to long after the sinful way of living, we have a problem and we need to come before the Lord and ask Him to show us what we have not given up to and what we need to change. The Lord is faithful and will help us, because His desire for us is to succeed and be His forever. Thank You Lord!
Let us not forget that the peace of the Lord is in us wherever we go and we can enjoy its presence as we let the Holy Spirit to lead us and ignore the thoughts and emotions of our carnal nature.
WORRY VS. JOY
Has anything good ever come from worrying? Have you ever solved any problems when you focused on the negative aspects and could not see the way out? The Bible teaches us the opposite approach, which is the most effective way for solving all situations.
These verses are easy to say, but not so easy to do, aren’t they? Let’s consider the previous verses:
To be able to always rejoice, we must continuously choose joy over sadness, discouragement or any negative emotions. "Rejoice" is a verb, which implies our action. We are able to rejoice more as we make the choice to smile even in difficult circumstances. It also helps to realize that it is valuable wisdom to resist thoughts and thought patterns that make us sad. We can also avoid conversations and situations that rob us of our peace.
Gentleness is the opposite of harshness, anger and a companion of joy. Jesus is the perfect model of gentleness and meekness. He always had the right heart and attitude, without sinning, no matter what His circumstances were. The Bible shows that people came boldly to Him knowing that He would to treat them kindly.
Most of us realize that there is no point in worrying and suffering over things we cannot change. It is true that it is important to realize and consider our mistakes, so that we do not repeat them, but we only hurt and torment ourselves with thoughts like: "if I would have only done this or only that..." or "if they would have only done this or that...". If we pay close attention and guard what we think, we can reject negative, and destructive thoughts, that bring no good, and instead, choose to meditate on what is constructive, beneficial, and true, according to Scripture, we can be so much more happier.
The apostle Peter tells us to cast all our concerns upon the Lord, because He cares for us in all areas of life:
God loves us unconditionally and always wants what is best for us, even more than we do. The Lord wants us to give Him all our worries. We know that there is no problem that He cannot solve for us. The Lord wants us to give Him our worries, to trust that He will solve them, and to be obedient to His directions and ways in handling things, so that He can work in our behalf. The child who has a loving and devoted father, does not doubt his protection, help and care. If an earthly father inspires his child to have so much confidence, how much more should we trust in the care of our heavenly Father, who is Almighty and for whom nothing is impossible or too difficult? When we love God, we seek to please Him, and we can be sure that He takes care of everything we need, because through. faith, the promises from His Word become real in our lives.
The apostle Paul shows us what we should meditate on, so that we may enjoy our daily lives.
When we respond to circumstances in our flesh and not lead by the Holy Spirit, the result will be stress, confusion and worry. As we choose to focus on what is good and right, we can resist the negative emotions, because the key to peace is not in what we feel, but in what we think.
How can we be free of the fear that comes from focusing on the problem that worries us? The most effective way is to find the Bible verses that solve the problem or show the truth of Scripture on the subject. What we think produces the emotions we feel. If we want to have peace and joy, it is up to us, to make the effort to stop negative, destructive thoughts and choose to think about what Philippians 4:8 says to think about, or to do as the following verses tell us to do:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Eli Cockrell and Carmen Pușcaș share thoughts about the end times and life as a Christian in the world we live in today.