A Heart at Peace

 

(Prov 14:30 NIV)  A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

(Prov 14:30 RSV)  A tranquil mind gives life to the flesh, but passion makes the bones rot.

(Prov 14:30 KJV)  A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

*   Matthew Henry, in his concise commentary, says this about verse 30: An upright, contented, and benevolent mind, tends to health.

 

Now this is only common sense. We all know we feel better when our hearts and minds are at peace. And the Bible also makes this point abundantly clear. Consider just a few verses on the subject.

*   (Exo 20:17 NIV)  "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

*   (Heb 12:14 NIV)  Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

*   (Eph 4:26 NIV)  "In your anger do not sin" : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

*    (John 16:28-33 NIV)  I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father." {29} Then Jesus' disciples said, "Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. {30} Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God." {31} "You believe at last!" Jesus answered. {32} "But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. {33} "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

*   (1 Pet 2:11 NIV)  Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

 

Before going further let’s stop and take a look at that word, “Peace.” From the American Heritage dictionary we get these thoughts.

1. The absence of war or other hostilities. Surrender may end war but it is no guarantee of peace!

3. Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations: roommates living in peace with each other.

4. Public security and order: was arrested for disturbing the peace.

5. Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind.

From Strong’s Greek concordance we get, “one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again”

 

It seems clear to me that the peace we are talking about here is peace of mind and inner contentment. Certainly we are not talking about the peace that comes from surrender to evil or compromising with the world.

But, there is a surrender that brings peace. It is when we surrender to God. When we find our righteousness in Him we will find peace also. We will know the victory belongs to us and so fear is gone when we fear God. That is, when we reverence God without reservation.

 

In practical terms we learn to make choices that are right, righteous choices. You see God is pro-choice but certainly not in the sense of being pro-abortion.  We like some sheep have gone astray. We became lost. We didn’t really know who we were or even what we were. We find ourselves when we no longer are focused solely on ourselves. When we finally choose to follow Him who is light and life and knows the way to peace, then we find peace.

 

This doesn’t mean that we are satisfied with all outcomes and all circumstances. God himself is not satisfied with all things. He clearly desires that none should perish and that we all would do better than we do. Still he is also a God of justice and in the final analysis things will work out as they should. God is not a failure!! And we need not fail either as long as we can remember God is in control. Remember this verse, “(Rom 8:28 NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

 

I find that whenever I have lost my peace it is always because of something I have said or done. Sure someone else may have been involved but it was my choice to respond in such a way as to lose the peace that should be mine. I really believe that.

 

Disappointment should not steal my peace. Hurtful words should not steal my peace. Undesirable circumstance should not steal my peace. Didn’t we just read, (John 16:33 NIV)  "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Jesus is our peace.

 

Not convinced yet? Consider this, (Phil 4:6-9 NIV)  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. {7} And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. {8} Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. {9} Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

 

Joy is greater than happiness and peace is greater than circumstances. Peace is not what we see it is what we know. Let me conclude with a few quotations about peace.

 

*   A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do; all we have to do is to enter into it.   Dwight Lyman Moody

*   All men desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace.  Thomas Kempis

*   Emotional peace and calm come after doing God's will and not before.     Erwin W. Lutzer

*   Finding God, you have no need to seek peace, for he himself is your peace.  Frances Roberts

*   Five great enemies to peace: greed, ambition, envy, anger, and pride. Petrarch

 

 

Benediction