Just living life can sometimes leave a big mess in your lap. Key aspects of your world can collapse around you, and make you wonder what the next step is? Well, here’s one approach that will make a BIG difference.
Before we get to that, let me welcome you to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — I’m grateful that you’re here, because you are the reason I do this. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
Multiple academic studies have explored how often the world has been at peace throughout its 4500 years of recorded history. The answer? Not many! Over 8000 peace treaties have been made – and broken – during that time. If you define war as an active conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives, historians tell us that the world has fought some 10,624 wars. In fact we’ve only had 268 years where the earth hasn’t had a war raging somewhere. If you’re looking for an absence of conflict to give you peace, I’d say your chances aren’t too good.
So the question really becomes “How can I have peace in the middle of life’s battles and storms?” And to THAT question God has an amazing answer. You and I can use the word PEACE as an acronym and have five steps to perfect peace. Now I know that even a mini title like “Five Steps To Perfect Peace” sounds corny and impossible. Except that it works. If you will follow these steps I can guarantee that you’ll have peace. And after I give you the steps I’ll explain why it that’s so.
P – The “P” in peace stands for PRAY. You know what you need, and so does God. When you’re struggling with internal issues that are destroying your peace it helps to talk with someone. But let’s be honest – Sometimes the things you’re struggling with are things you don’t want to share with anyone. But God already knows them, and so talking with God about them makes perfect sense. When you determine to pray, you’re acknowledging that the answer to your situation is beyond your power and control. (If it wasn’t, you’d already be at peace – right??) You need some help to get a grip, and the first person to ask for the help you need is God.
E – The first “E” in peace stands for EXPECT. When you pray, you should expect God to answer. He promises that if anyone comes to Him seeking wisdom, He will give it. Actually He says that He will give it generously. When we come to God and ask Him for wisdom to deal with issues in our lives, He’s not stingy with the answers. Now some of you are thinking, “I can’t expect God to give me help after the way I’ve been living.” Actually, His promise speaks to that directly. God puts it this way … “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” God gives generously. God gives His wisdom to all. And He does so without finding fault. Now THAT’s a promise worth memorizing !!!
A – The “A” in peace stands for ACT. You need to recognize that God is God, and you are not. Defer to Him and the plan that He gives you. Your ways and His ways are very different, which is why His way will lead you into His peace; something you’ll never find on your own. So Once you’ve prayed to Him and received the expected answer, it is time to ACT on what He has said. To get to where God wants you to be and have the peace He wants you to have, you’ve got to do what He wants you to do. And if you make a mistake along the way, either by not hearing or obeying perfectly — Don’t worry, He’s a very big God and He can correct your course.
C – The “C” in peace stands for CALM. Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart. Remind yourself that you’ve given control over to God. You’ve prayed and made your requests to God, and He has listened. If concerns arise, pray about them, too. Give whatever tries to rob your peace directly to God, and the peace of God that surpasses your understanding will guard your heart and mind.
E – The final “E” in peace stands for EMBRACE. God is going to give you His peace. He promised to do it. So embrace it!! Hold it close and don’t let it go.
You see, today’s verse explains why this is true — NOW MAY THE LORD OF PEACE GIVE YOU PEACE
He’s the LORD of peace! The one who controls it, the master over all peace. Since He controls it, He can send it, direct it, give it and cause it to remain. The God of peace will give you the peace of God. And no one can take it away.
But my favorite part of the verse is the FIRST word – NOW !!!! When I need peace, THAT’s when I want it. The good news is that He can give it NOW. Whew !!! THAT is REALLY good news.
P – Pray
E – EXPECT
A – ACT
C – CALM
E – EMBRACE
NOW MAY THE LORD OF PEACE GIVE YOU PEACE