Thursday, October 18, 2007

Peace, Perfect Peace

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

Peace is not an easy thing to come by in our world. We are surrounded by strife – in our neighborhoods, in our homes, in our workplaces, in our world at large. Conflict, sin and turmoil are around every corner. We long for the day when there will be complete peace on Earth. Until then, Jesus has called us to live a life of peace.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Romans 12:18

The beauty of peace is that it can be ours in every circumstance, and this hymn speaks eloquently about that peace that passes all understanding. In this dark world of sin, the blood of Jesus whispers peace within. Because of Jesus’ work on our behalf, we have peace with God!

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2

Peace amidst all our duties, and the stress of daily living? We find peace when we do the will of God, living in peace with one another.

Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. II Cor. 13:11

So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Romans 14:19

Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
II Tim. 2:22

Peace with sorrows surging around? Jesus guarantees our sorrows and suffering, our tribulations. But we can be courageous in them - He offers us peace through Himself - He has overcome the world.

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Peace amid suffering’s sharpest throes? Jesus offers us sympathy. He can sympathize with our weakness because He has felt everything we have.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Heb. 4:15

I am especially thankful for this next verse – peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away. Jesus offers us peace in ALL our circumstances – geographical and otherwise.

Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance The Lord be with you all! II Thess. 3:16

We can be assured that in Jesus’ keeping our loved ones safe in His everlasting arms, even if we aren’t geographically close at hand.

Peace when we don’t know the future? How can that be possible? This is the peace that for me, personally, is hard to achieve. I need to lay my burdens about the future at the foot of the cross. Intellectually I know that He is on the throne, and I have no need to fret about the future. But my heart is deceitful, and my mind is prone to wander. Jesus tells us how to have peace about the future:

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matt. 6:33

And in the next verse, he reminds us that it isn’t prudent or necessary to fret about the future:

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt. 6:34

Finally, Paul encourages us with what awaits us in our eternal future if we stay the course – a crown of righteousness!

In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
II Tim. 4:8

Peace amidst death – either our own or that of someone we love. How do we find peace in that situation? Because we know that Jesus has vanquished death! Death no longer rules, but Jesus does!

…our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel… II Tim. 1:10

At the end of this hymn we receive great encouragement – it is enough! Earth’s struggles soon shall cease, and Jesus will call us to perfect peace in heaven, our blessed homeland.

Until that day, I leave with you this benediction from the writer to the Hebrews, praying that the God of peace will equip you to live a life of peace amidst every circumstance you face today, tomorrow, and until He calls us home.

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21

Peace, Perfect Peace
Words by Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr.

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, ’mid suffering’s sharpest throes?
The sympathy of Jesus breathes repose.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.

It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
And Jesus call us to Heaven’s perfect peace.


Heather@Mommymonk said...

So many verses leading us back to the Prince of Peace. Thanks Sara.

Susanna said...

*smiles* thank you for expounding this hymn. It is always good to be reminded of the scripture that hymns are based on.

Vicki said...

What a beautiful reflection on the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have peace, even when facing death, because Jesus is our Peace.

Blessings to you!