Can I Have Peace No Matter What?
Dr. Paul Dean is a pastor, cultural commentator, and author. He serves as a Regional Mentor with the International Association of Biblical Counselors, speaks at several conferences throughout the year, and provides training for ministers and churches on a regular basis. Paul resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with his wife and three children.
- 2011 Feb 12
Peace in this world is illusive. How many American presidents have tried to bring peace to the Middle East only to fail? How many wars have been fought to end all wars? "The Doors" famous song "Peace Frog" is about a lack of peace. Even during times of relative peace, there are always personal circumstances that bring an end to our peace. Here's the real question in light of all that, can we truly have peace of mind no matter what? It seems impossible.
Yet, we can have peace to cover any thing we face. How do we get it? Well, we can't get it on our own; we can't earn it, work for it, or discover it. We don't even deserve it. In fact, true peace flows from grace; it flows from knowing God. You can't know God unless He reveals Himself to you. But, if He does, you get a growing grace and peace in your life. So, how does that work?
We have grace to know God and that grace works powerfully in us to increase our knowledge of Him. We know more about Him and we know Him better personally as we're sanctified by the Spirit. We know better how to live as living is about reflecting God's character. If I know now that something is sin that heretofore I did not know was sin, I can deal with that sin in my heart and put it off in my life. I have the grace of understanding that a particular issue is sin and I have the grace of being able now to put it to death. I'm reflecting God's character because I know Him and He's working in me.
We can also get grace in time of need. Remember when one of the Columbine shooters asked Cassie Bernall if she believed in God? She was staring down the barrel of a shotgun and said, "Yes." She was immediately killed with a bullet to the head for that answer. Some wonder if they would be able to take a similar stand for Christ. You may feel you couldn't. That's because you don't have grace for something like that right now. But, if you're called upon to take that stand, God will give you the grace you need to glorify Him. God gave the Israelites enough manna for one day at a time. He gives us enough grace for today. We'll get more tomorrow.
Now, when we grow in grace, we also grow in peace. That's why Peter says, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" (2 Pet. 1:2). He's praying that grace and peace not only increase but multiply! Grace and peace can multiply exponentially in your life. Again, the more grace you get, the more peace you get.
Wouldn't it be great to have peace for every circumstance of life? We need peace when the winds of adversity blow. What kind of peace? We need peace in our hearts: peace of mind. There's a peace that keeps us from worry and fear no matter what's going on. There's a peace that keeps our hearts calm when we should be agitated or angry from a human perspective. There's a peace that gives us the confidence we need to carry forward no matter what's happening. We need that peace and can get more of it just like we can get more grace. We can go to Jesus, our faithful high priest, for grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). That help leads to peace.
How does grace and peace get multiplied to us? Again, Peter says it's multiplied "in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." We know God. He's revealed Himself to us in Jesus our Lord. Because we know Him, we can have a multiplying grace and peace. The practical upshot of that reality is the more we get to know God, the more grace and peace we'll have in our hearts.
We know God better as we commune with Him and experience His grace and peace. Read and meditate upon His Word, not as an academic exercise, but as the means of hearing His voice. Turn it over in your mind and apply it to the attitudes and thoughts you have as well as to the actions you take. Commune with God through worship. The higher or more exalting thoughts of God you have the more you know Him for who He truly is. Biblical fellowship with the people of God around the things of God is also a means to know God better. As we talk about Him, His mighty works, His work in our lives, and so much more, we grow in our relationship with Him. Of course, prayer undergirds our intimacy with and desire to know God better. Prayer shouldn't be viewed as merely asking God for things we want. Prayer is a means of communing with God all day long. Talk to Him about everything. The more He's on your mind, the closer you'll be to Him. And, the closer you are to God, the more practical grace you'll experience and the more peace you'll have; you'll be at peace because you'll experience God more. He's always with you. Yes, the "Peace Frog" is an illusion; but the "God of Peace" is not.
Dr. Paul Dean invites you to discover more about yourself, God, and others . . . and develop a Christian worldview. Dr. Dean is a pastor, cultural commentator, and author. Receive a FREE commentary and learn more at http://www.trueworldview.com