PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING (Part 2: Three Keys)

 “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:”  (Isa. 48:18)

There are three keys that will open the door to the peace of God that resides in our inner man. Once opened, this supernatural flood of God’s peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ.

These three keys all have to do with having faith in God.

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22)

These three keys are: (1) having faith in God’s love, (2) having faith in God’s will, and (3) having faith in God’s righteousness.

Before God’s peace can fill us to the overflowing, there must first be room for it. This involves the removal of fear. This is the first key.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1John 4:18)

There is only one perfect love and that is the love that comes from God, for God is love.

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1John 4:16)

To have faith in God is to have faith in God’s love.

The Bible says that we did not choose God, but that God chose and called us. (John 15:16)

“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44)

We would not have even wanted to come to God and be saved if He had not put it in our hearts to do so.

The Bible says that while we were in our mother’s womb He saw us and chose us. He ordained how we would look and he fashioned us in the way that would please Him. (Psalm 139)

When we were ready, He put it in our hearts to desire Him and come to Christ, and now that He has us nothing can separate us from His love.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom. 8:35)

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Rom. 8:37)

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,” (Rom. 8:38)

“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:39)

God loves us no matter what!

God’s love is not based upon anything that we have or have not done.

God doesn’t love us because we read the Bible, attend Church, spend time in prayer, or give offerings. He’s pleased that we do these things, but that is not what causes Him to love us.

God doesn’t even love us because we have quit sinning and love Him, for the Bible says:

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)

God loves us simply because we exist.

“We love him, because he first loved us.” (1John 4:19)

He loves us because we are. Nothing can change His love for us. That’s what perfect love is. Nothing can affect it. Nothing can alter it. It does not change.

And it’s not a general, “love for all” kind of love. It’s a personal, intimate kind of love.

Before Christ died on the cross, God’s love was a love for all mankind.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

It was because of His love for all men that He gave His son, but now that His son has been given, God’s love for us is not only perfect but also personal.

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matt. 10:30)

Like a father admiring his child sleeping in the crib, our Heavenly Father looks upon us daily and counts the hairs upon our heads. He knows exactly what we will need before we even need it, and has prepared it in advance.

“Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matt. 6:8)

“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24)

He who knows the ending from the beginning is never surprised or unprepared, but has already solved the problem before it even appears.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1Cor. 10:13)

The first step in having God’s peace is to understand and believe in God’s perfect love for us, that nothing can change or alter it, and that it’s not based upon anything except for the fact that we are His creation.

Because of His love for us, God will do whatever it takes to preserve us. Knowing and believing this will drive away all fear from our hearts and will prepare us to be filled with the peace of God that passes all understanding.

Fear is not the only thief that can rob us from having God’s peace. Worry and anxiety can also fill our thoughts and leave no room for the peace of God.

We worry and become anxious over situations in our life when we’re unsure that things are going to work out for our benefit. We ponder all of the possibilities and fear the worst.

It’s not a matter of believing whether God can hear our prayer and give us what we ask, but it’s a matter of being unsure whether it’s His will to do it.

Having faith in God’s will is the second key to opening the gate and releasing the flood of God’s peace to be manifested in our life.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

We must not forget that we didn’t choose God but that He chose and called us. We must not forget that we love Him because He first loved us.

Worry and anxiety grip our hearts when we lose our intimacy with God. Lack of fellowship and communion with Him causes us to lose sight of His will for our lives.

God has a purpose for our lives. He called us because we are unique and He has a plan and a will for us.

“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification…” (1Thess. 4:3)

The word “sanctification” simply means “to be set apart”. In the Greek it means “the state of purity.”

In other words, He has called us out of the darkness of the world and has “set us apart” so that He may work in our lives until He brings us into this purity or “perfection”.

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Col. 1:13)

God will not allow anything to interfere with His will being done in our lives to make us pure. No matter what arises in our lives to try and hinder us and pull us down, God will work everything out and overcome it so that in the end our lives will only be better.

It’s God who will work all things together for our good in order that He may purify us and bring us into perfection.

One example of this Biblical truth is the Old Testament story of Jacob and Joseph in Genesis chapters thirty seven through forty five.

Jacob had twelve sons but he favored Joseph above the rest. God had revealed to Joseph through his dreams that one day he would rule over the rest of his family.

Because of their father’s favoritism and Joseph’s dreams, his brothers sold Joseph into slavery and he was brought into Egypt.

Joseph was bought by an officer of Pharaoh named Potiphar and was placed over his household. After a period of time, Joseph was accused of a crime he didn’t commit and was placed in prison.

Joseph was given charge over all the prisoners and his gift for interpreting dreams became known. Joseph remained in prison for two years before his ability to interpret dreams was made known to Pharaoh.

God gave Pharaoh two dreams in one night that dealt with the future of Egypt. When Pharaoh’s magicians couldn’t give the interpretation of the dreams, they called for Joseph.

God revealed that there was going to be seven years of plenty throughout Egypt and then seven years of terrible famine. Joseph advised Pharaoh that he should build storage cities for grain and store up against the famine.

Pharaoh saw the wisdom and favor of God in Joseph and appointed him to oversee it. Joseph was made second to Pharaoh and ruled over all of Egypt. During the famine, all who needed food had to appear before Joseph.

From the time that Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery until the time that Pharaoh placed him as a ruler over Egypt, Joseph never lost his trust in God or his faith that God would fulfill His promises.

No matter what befell him that seemed contrary to the will of God for his life, he never became anxious or worried. Joseph never lost his peace.

Jacob, on the other hand, was a different story.

Joseph’s brothers had lied to their father and convinced Jacob that Joseph had been killed by wild beasts in the wilderness.

As the famine became severe, Jacob heard there was food in Egypt and he sent his oldest sons there to buy grain. When they arrived in Egypt, they were brought before Joseph, but the years had changed Joseph and his brothers didn’t recognize him.

Joseph decided to test his brothers, so he kept his brother Simeon as ransom and told them not to return again until they brought their youngest brother Benjamin with them.

Jacob refused to let them return back to Egypt with Benjamin. Eventually the famine became so severe they were faced with starvation, and that’s when Jacob resigned himself to the situation and made the statement:

“And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.” (Gen. 42:36)

Jacob had come to a place where all he could see were the troubles and circumstances that were around him. He had forgotten the promises made by God to his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham.

Jacob had forgotten the will of God for his life. He forgot that God had promised Abraham that through him and his children their descendants would become as the stars in the sky for multitude. He had forgotten they were to become the nation and the people of God.

All Jacob believed now was that “all these things are against me” and they were at the mercy of a cruel and ruthless Egyptian ruler.

While Joseph never lost his peace through all of his tribulations and continued to have faith in God’s will for his life, Jacob had forgotten the will of God for him and his family and had allowed his heart to be filled with fear, despair, and anxiety.

The brothers took Benjamin and returned to Egypt. Once there, Joseph revealed himself, forgiving and convincing them that God had allowed all of these things to happen in order that they might be preserved and delivered from the famine.

They returned home to get Jacob and brought him, their households, and all their possessions back to Egypt where they grew and became a mighty nation.

Even when it seems that things are working against us instead of for us, God’s love and will never changes (Rom. 11:29), His thoughts about us cannot be numbered (Psalm 139:17), and they are always for our good and not for evil (Rom. 8:28).

So often we wonder if the specific choices we make are in agreement with the will of God for our life. We want God to speak audibly or show us a sign that we are making the right decision.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (1John 5:14)

The word “will” in this scripture literally means “purpose” or “decree” in the Greek. The decree of God is His written Word. If the choices we make are not contrary to the written Word of God, then we are in agreement with His will.

If our choices do not compromise the will of God for our “sanctification” but rather continue to lead us closer to Him in the direction of “holiness” and “purity”, then we are making choices according to His will.

And finally, if the choices we make give us peace in our hearts, then we are doing the will of God.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit…” (Rom. 8:16)

Satan can appear as an angel of light. (2 Cor. 11:14) He can even attempt to imitate God’s voice and try to deceive us. He can cause visions, dreams, and signs. He is called the “tempter” and can try to tempt us to go against the will of God for our lives.

But he cannot imitate the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” (Gal. 5:22)

No matter what problems arise that seem to contradict the promises and blessings of God, we must continue to have faith in His love and in His will if we are to walk in His peace.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Heb. 12:14)

God loves us so much, that if in an honest and true heart we are about to make a decision contrary to God’s will, He is well able to stop us and show us the right way. He is God. Trust in Him.

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

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