Peace In Fearful Times

Ever since the very contentious election of 2016, I have found that many people are still so angry because their candidate of choice didn’t win. Also, they tend to be very vicious against those who voted for the candidate that won the election. It has come to the point where I don’t even want to try to discuss politics with anyone! Personally, I thought that the vitriol would have calmed down by now, but it seems to be getting worse every day.  How very sad…

No matter which side of the political spectrum you are on, dear readers, many believe that we are living in fearful times.  What’s more, the enemies of the United States and Her allies (enemies that include worldwide spread of Radical Islamist Terrorists, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and yes…Russia) stand ready to attack at any time.  Some are doing a lot of sabre rattling, others are terrorists who continue to attack in Europe and elsewhere; while others are downright determined to destroy the West from within our borders and are patiently planning and plotting our ultimate demise.

Personally, I thank God that we have a strong military (and, a friend in the White House who allow our military to do its job!) which stands ready to do whatever it may take to keep our enemies in check and/or do what is necessary to protect our beloved United States of America and Her allies.  “Peace through strength” used to be our motto, and I’m hopeful that it is back again.

With that brief synopsis written, the real purpose of this post is to share how we, as Christians, can have peace in fearful times.

Pastor Doug at NewLife Christian Fellowship in San Diego had this to say back in March, 2017:

Today we will be talking about “Peace.”  If we read the New Testament letters looking to find Bible verses about peace, we find a specific greeting used sixteen time:  “Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Yet, there is more to “Grace and Peace” than a simple greeting.  Peace, like creation is not an accident.  it is not a condition invented by psychology.  God designed it, understands it, and gives it to those He calls. True peace comes from a saving knowledge of Jesus.  Peace was designed by God, and comes through the blood of Jesus.

Peace is listed in the top three characteristics of the fruit of the spirit.  Without love, joy, and peace, there is little hope of accomplishing forbearance (longsuffering), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control.  All of those characteristics are predicated on the love, joy, and peace of God.  The peace of God must be evident in us.  Others need to see what we have and desire to have it.  Then we can be peacemakers, able to share the love of God with a troubled world.  All too often we lose our peace in the midst of tragedy and the circumstances of life.  When we do that, we have nothing to offer a watching world.  If a neighbor comes to us distraught over tragedy and finds us just as undone, what testimony have we given about the peace of Christ, which He promised?  It is the Christians in a community who should be able to offer a word of encouragement and comfort during difficult times.  But we can only do that if we possess the peace of Christ – that peace which He purchased for us at the price of His own blood.”

There is nothing more blessed than sewing peace into the lives of those around you.  They need Jesus, the only source of peace, and you have what they need.  Be a peacemaker!

~ Pastor Doug

The Book of Acts 18:1 – 22:29 helps us to discover the answer to peace in fearful times.

How can we have peace in such a time as this?

  1.  Learn to fear (meaning, “be in awe”) of God.  See Hebrews 12:28-29; Ephesians 6:5; Philippians 2:12; Proverbs 3:7; 14:27; Matthew 10:28; Psalms 56:11
  2. Tell God.  Philippians 4:4-7; Matthew 23:37
  3. Trust God.  Acts 22; 2 Corinthians 1:9-10; 2 Timothy 1:12
  4. Obey God.  We need to know what God wants us to be like in order to obey Him!  We find this in His Word, the Bible, and in the Living Word, Jesus Christ!  See Acts 18; 19:11, 20

What is the single most common command in the Bible?

Answer:  “Fear not.”

The terms “fear” and “not” appear 129 times in the NKJV and 11 exact phrases shown first at this link.

In my notes at the end of the sermon, I wrote:

Trust in spite of appearances. Fear makes things worse than they are. When we obey God in spite of our fear – that is when we are equipped by God.

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5 Responses to “Peace In Fearful Times”

  1. insanitybytes22 Says:

    Amen! I really appreciate this post. We really can have peace, even in the midst of chaos.

    Myself, I should like to reach across the aisle, help those who are feeling disgruntled to understand what so many of their fellow Americans are thinking, but I have had little luck. The amount of contempt, disgust, disrespect, is pretty intense.

    So, step one towards unity and reconciliation,try to stop calling me stupid and uneducated. Just saying. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • christinewjc Says:

      I have found the same thing to be true with those around me (even some family members!) who refuse to put aside their hate and contempt in order to have a decent discussion.

      The media of mass deception fuels their fear, hate, disrespect, contempt, and disgust, thus pushing them even further into fear mongering and violent protests.

      I told one elderly lady, “don’t believe everything you hear on the news.” She claimed that Trump will be impeached. She replied, “I don’t but…” It was then where I abruptly changed the subject!

      There are some who really don’t want unity and reconciliation. Some of them even appear to be possessed by the enemy of our souls! We will probably go through this for the next 4 or 8 years. At least we can have “peace, even in the midst of chaos” as you had written!

      Liked by 1 person

      • christinewjc Says:

        Forgot to mention that during her rant, the elderly lady called Trump a “kook.” This is a term that she had picked up from the news media. How do I know? Well, I can’t know for certain, but because I’ve known her for my entire life and have never heard her call anyone a “kook” before, it is easy to surmise that she learned to apply that word to Trump via the constant use of it towards the man from the media of mass deception.

        I hate to see people so brainwashed from the fake news media. Recall that Ronald Reagan was called names throughout his 8 year presidency and beyond.

        The hatred being leveled against conservatives these days is unprecedented! I think that it’s because the lying media fuels the flames of hate against us. The good news is that many Americans awakened from the stupor they may have been in during the 0bama years, and realized that the media could not be trusted to tell them the truth. Therefore, alternative media (i.e. conservative radio, blogs, websites, message boards etc.) were researched by voters where they ultimately found out how many lies were being spewed about Trump, and how much corruption of the Clintons was exposed. So voters took a chance with Trump rather than HilLIARy.

        Causing division amongst people is the goal of the enemy of our souls. Those under his influence often cannot be reached with the truth until they repent of their sins and become reconciled unto God through Jesus Christ. (See next comment for more about this!)

        Like

  2. GMpilot Says:

    CJW:

    Ever since the very contentious election of 2016, I have found that many people are still so angry because their candidate of choice didn’t win. Also, they tend to be very vicious against those who voted for the candidate that won the election. It has come to the point where I don’t even want to try to discuss politics with anyone! Personally, I thought that the vitriol would have calmed down by now, but it seems to be getting worse every day. How very sad…

    I’ve seen some of that vitriol. A sample is included below:

    ”After all that has been said and done during these difficult years of the wannabe dictator, Donald John Trump, it appears that the way his agenda will be defeated is when more and more incidences of him, his handlers, and his cronies end up falling on their own swords of destruction.

    It was interesting to see how quickly DJT changed his tune when his poll numbers took a 6 or 7 point dive. The “new” Trump came out and suddenly decided to have dinners, lunches, and discussions with House and Senate Republicans. I was glad to here Rep. Paul Ryan state that even though they had a long conversation where he had the first opportunity to talk with Trump for more than two minutes, the discussion of sharing of his opinions and the truth regarding what is needed to balance the budget will only mean something if Trump’s actions speak much louder than words. Trump is notorious for saying things to groups and individuals that they want to hear while his actions end up doing the complete opposite!

    Talking heads at Fox News have stated that Trump probably has 12 – 18 months to “get something done” regarding the budget, deficit, debt ceiling, and other huge problems we currently face, but after that he will most likely be a lame duck pResident.”

    Harsh words, huh? Only this person wasn’t talking about the Master of Mar-a-Lago. These words were written to describe his predecessor four years ago; I have changed nothing but the name.
    The words, BTW, are yours. You might even be right about the end results—you were just one president too early.

    The media of mass deception fuels their fear, hate, disrespect, contempt, and disgust, thus pushing them even further into fear mongering and violent protests.

    Yeah, I remember seeing a lot of those sorts of comments on this blog way back when, and even as recently as earlier this year. They were all fearful, hateful, disrespectful, contemptible, and disgusting—and even worse, they were all wrong. Maybe your god can’t lie, but his followers sure can!

    Like

  3. christinewjc Says:

    In a very long post over at Truth to Freedom’s blog I found these gems:

    The Meaning of Peace: Righteousness and Truth

    The essential fact to comprehend is that the peace about which Jesus speaks is more than the absence of conflict and strife; it is the presence of righteousness. Only righteousness can produce the relationship that brings two parties together. Men can stop fighting without righteousness, but they cannot live peaceably without righteousness. Righteousness not only puts an end to harm, but it administers the healing of love.

    God’s peace not only stops war but replaces it with the righteousness that brings harmony and true well-being. Peace is a creative, aggressive force for goodness. The Jewish greeting shalom wishes “peace” and expresses the desire that the one who is greeted will have all the righteousness and goodness God can give. The deepest meaning of the term is “God’s highest good to you.”

    The most that man’s peace can offer is a truce, the temporary cessation of hostilities. But whether on an international scale or an individual scale, a truce is seldom more than a cold war. Until disagreements and hatreds are resolved, the conflicts merely go underground-where they tend to fester, grow, and break out again. God’s peace, however, not only stops the hostilities but settles the issues and brings the parties together in mutual love and harmony.

    James confirms the nature of God’s peace when he writes, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable” (James 3:17). God’s way to peace is through purity. Peace cannot be attained at the expense of righteousness. Two people cannot be at peace until they recognize and resolve the wrong attitudes and actions that caused the conflict between them, and then bring themselves to God for cleansing. Peace that ignores the cleansing that brings purity is not God’s peace.

    The writer of Hebrews links peace with purity when he instructs believers to “pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). Peace cannot be divorced from holiness. “Righteousness and peace have kissed each other” is the beautiful expression of the psalmist (Ps. 85:10). Biblically speaking, then, where there is true peace there is righteousness, holiness, and purity. Trying to bring harmony by compromising righteousness forfeits both.

    Jesus’ saying “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34) seems to be the antithesis of the seventh beatitude. His meaning, however, was that the peace He came to bring is not peace at any price. There will be opposition before there is harmony; there will be strife before there is peace. To be peacemakers on God’s terms requires being peacemakers on the terms of truth and righteousness-to which the world is in fierce opposition. When believers bring truth to bear on a world that loves falsehood, there will be strife. When believers set God’s standards of righteousness before a world that loves wickedness, there is an inevitable potential for conflict. Yet that is the only way.

    Until unrighteousness is changed to righteousness there cannot be godly peace. And the process of resolution is difficult and costly. Truth will produce anger before it produces happiness; righteousness will produce antagonism before it produces harmony. The gospel brings bad feelings before it can bring good feelings. A person who does not first mourn over his own sin will never be satisfied with God’s righteousness. The sword that Christ brings is the sword of His Word, which is the sword of truth and righteousness. Like the surgeon’s scalpel, it must cut before it heals, because peace cannot come where sin remains.

    The great enemy of peace is sin. Sin separates men from God and causes disharmony and enmity with Him. And men’s lack of harmony with God causes their lack of harmony with each other. The world is filled with strife and war because it is filled with sin. Peace does not rule the world because the enemy of peace rules the world. Jeremiah tells us that “the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick [or wicked]” (Jer. 17:9). Peace cannot reign where wickedness reigns. Wicked hearts cannot produce a peaceful society. “ ‘There is no peace for the wicked,’ says the Lord” (Isa. 48:22).

    To talk of peace without talking of repentance of sin is to talk foolishly and vainly. The corrupt religious leaders of ancient Israel proclaimed, “Peace, peace,” but there was no peace, because they and the rest of the people were not “ashamed of the abominations they had done” (Jer. 8:11–12).

    “From within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man” (Mark 7:21–23). Sinful men cannot create peace, either within themselves or among themselves. Sin can produce nothing but strife and conflict. “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing,” James says. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:16–18).

    Regardless of what the circumstances might be, where there is conflict it is because of sin. If you separate the conflicting parties from each other but do not separate them from sin, at best you will succeed only in making a truce. Peacemaking cannot come by circumventing sin, because sin is the source of every conflict.

    The bad news of the gospel comes before the good news. Until a person confronts his sin, it makes no sense to offer him a Savior. Until a person faces his false notions, it makes no sense to offer him the truth. Until a person acknowledges his enmity with God, it makes no sense to offer him peace with God.

    Believers cannot avoid facing truth, or avoid facing others with the truth, for the sake of harmony. If someone is in serious error about a part of God’s truth, he cannot have a right, peaceful relationship with others until the error is confronted and corrected. Jesus never evaded the issue of wrong doctrine or behavior. He treated the Samaritan woman from Sychar with great love and compassion, but He did not hesitate to confront her godless life. First He confronted her with her immoral living: “You have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband” (John 4:18). Then He corrected her false ideas about worship: “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father. You worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:21–22).

    The person who is not willing to disrupt and disturb in God’s name cannot be a peacemaker. To come to terms on anything less than God’s truth and righteousness is to settle for a truce-which confirms sinners in their sin and may leave them even further from the kingdom. Those who in the name of love or kindness or compassion try to witness by appeasement and compromise of God’s Word will find that their witness leads away from Him, not to Him. God’s peacemakers will not let a sleeping dog lie if it is opposed to God’s truth; they will not protect the status quo if it is ungodly and unrighteous. They are not willing to make peace at any price. God’s peace comes only in God’s way. Being a peacemaker is essentially the result of a holy life and the call to others to embrace the gospel of holiness.

    Like

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