Peace Like a River

Welcome to the third post in my series on the fruit of the Spirit.Peace like a river

Peace – The ‘conscious possession of adequate resources’. Knowing that our loving God is in control, and resting in Him, helps us to worry about nothing, pray about everything and be thankful for anything. The opposite is worry, fear, and anxiety in our soul.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord…” (1 Peter 1:2)

Do you like to be by the water? I do! In the spiritual song that I referred to in my last two posts, the first stanza is “I’ve got Peace like a river…♫”. If I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the demands of life, I love to go find a river and sit on the bank and just watch the water flow gently by. It is soooo peaceful! I love how the river seems to just keep on rolling (cue the song “Ole Man River”), it doesn’t matter what “junk” falls into it, or if there are sharp rocks in the bottom, or critters living in it taking advantage of its sweet water, it just stays serene and sublime. We like to go kayaking on a river near us, and it just feels so relaxing and peaceful – all you can hear is the swish of your paddle in the water, the croaking of toads, the rustle of the breeze in the trees, the chirping of birds… I’m feeling relaxed already!

Peace is something we are all searching for, and unfortunately some people never find it. Even though rivers do make me feel peaceful, I know that I cannot find true peace apart from my God Who Created me AND the rivers. There are three areas we need to have peace: Peace with God (upward); Peace of God (inward); and Peace with others (outward). Here’s some Biblical ways to find that peace:

1. Peace with God – Our souls were created to be filled with a loving, dependent relationship with our God. Without Him, our soul is constantly seeking something to fill that void with. When we try to fill it with anything but Him, the result is anxiety, fear, and unrest in our souls. We are sinful creatures, we know that our sin deserves punishment, and if we are honest with ourselves, we feel guilty, and our hearts are not at peace. Romans 15:13 tells us where we find peace with God:

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Peace with God comes from “believing”, believing what?

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:8)

Believing in the Lord Jesus and what He did for us, to pay for our sins! WOW! I’m so thankful that I can KNOW that my sins are forgiven. Because of Jesus, I have PEACE like a river in my soul!

2. Peace of God—Once we are saved, we do not instantly become perfect people with heart and soul content and at peace within ourselves. Sorry to bust your bubble! Without the peace of God, our hearts are still anxious and fearful. Salvation is the first step in the process of “sanctification” – a long word that really means to become a better person, a person who is increasingly more like Jesus Christ, who was perfect and holy. So, how do we do that? God commands us in Colossians 3:15 to let the peace of God rule in our hearts, and in verse 16 to let the Word of Christ dwell in us. Hmmm… maybe that’s a clue!! Philippians 4:6-9 gives us the answer:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true…honest… just…pure…lovely…of good report…virtue…praise, think on these things…and the God of peace shall be with you.”

The peace of God comes from intimately praying to God, with a thankful heart, trusting and turning everything over to Him –because He’s in control of it all anyway!! – and then thinking, or meditating, on God’s Word –and then obeying it! God’s Word is true, and honest, and just, and pure, and lovely and of good report. When we fill our minds with the truths of God’s Word instead of the lies of this world and its prince (Satan), we will find that we will want to obey His Word, and thus have the peace of God. We will know that we can trust in His goodness and His sovereignty to work all things together for good. We have no need to fear. He will take care of us as He does the sparrows.

3. Peace with Others – If we have peace with God, and the peace of God, then it shouldn’t be difficult to be at peace with others. When we get saved, the Holy Spirit indwells us, and He will give us the grace to forgive, to forbear, and to “hold our peace” when we really want to let someone have it! Romans 12:18 strongly recommends that we try to live at peace with others. It takes two people to make an argument – if another person is angry and red-faced and in-your-face, you can still be at peace within yourself and show love to them, and maybe help them to find peace. The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about this, in fact, Proverbs 16:7 tells us:

When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Proverbs 15:1 tells us that “A soft answer turns away wrath”, and it is so true! Peace produces healing, it flows like a river from the presence of Christ in our hearts.

In Heaven a river flows from the throne of Christ (Revelations 22:1), a peaceful river that waters the tree of life in a place where there is no more curse, no tears, no sorrow, no pain, and no darkness – PEACE!!

There are so many other verses about peace, I would encourage you to do a word search with a concordance, or your Bible App, and see all the ways God promises us peace.

Grace and Peace unto you…

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

Know God, Know Peace. No God, No Peace!

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