Pursuing Personal Peace
Many people have been given a false perception about material possessions. Surely If we can receive everything that our heart desires it will bring peace and fulfillment right? well lets take a look at our own life for a moment and examine what is the first reaction that you may have when someone gives you a gift you were not expecting. of course you are excited and thankful ! and at that moment you are also at peace because thankfulness and peace go together. The Apostle Paul in writing to the church at Thessalonica talks about thanksgiving when he says in 1Thessalonians 5:17 In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you, but in verse 23 of that same chapter he also talks about peace when he says and the very God of peace sanctify you wholly;In chapter 1 of that same book he talks about Thanksgiving and peace again when he says in 1:1 grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and the very next verse 1:2 says We give thanks to God always for you all. True peace cannot be measured by What you have because everyone can give thanks when bills are paid, and your family is doing great and you have good health. But can you and I be thankful and have peace when the bills are due without the money to pay them, and the family is fighting and the doctor has just given a negative report? The pursuit of peace is not pursuing things that we may feel will bring peace once we have gotten them, but it is pursuing God until a peace that passes all human understanding begins to guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:6)
A few books that inspire me
My heart goes out to those who may have a missing child or family member because there can never be any closure until they have been found. Have you ever lost anything that was very precious and valuable to you? well all peace goes out of the door and all thoughts continue to dwell on the worst possible scenario. In 1 Samuel chapter 30 we find David in this exact situation,lets take a look at the scripture:
And it came to pass when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south and Ziklag and smitten Ziklag and burned it with fire and had taken the women captives that were therein; they slew not any either great or small but carried them away and went on their way (1Samuel 30:1)
Many of us cannot relate to The problems that David and his men had encountered but we can all relate to trouble. Trouble will come regardless to how much money you do or do not have, it does not care what your occupation is or what your race creed or color is. Jesus said in the world you shall have tribulation (trouble) but be of good cheer...wait ! how can we possible be of good cheer when unemployment is on the rise , the threat of disease is invading our country at alarming rates and the list goes on and on. But he would never have commanded us to do something that was not possible. The peace of God is the answer to being of good cheer. Because Jesus overcame his trials through peace, he has made provision that we can also.
We can be of good cheer with peace of mind knowing that because Jesus was an overcomer we can be also
Peace does not negate the fact that we are human
Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept until they had no more power to weep and Davids two wives were taken captives Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. And David was greatly distressed for the people spake of stoning him because the soul of all the people was grieved every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God (1Samuel 30:4-6).
Peace does not negate the fact that we are human. We all cry, laugh, become angry or hurt, and it is because of our humanity. David and his men wept until they had no more power to weep and then his men could no longer hold their peace because they had no peace and they spake of stoning David. David was also greatly distressed but he simply encouraged himself in the Lord. People who have no peace may react with anger and frustration because someone must take the blame, so they may blame family, friends and even God because of an overwhelming since of hopelessness.
On the other hand lets look at Davids response, He does not blame anyone but he understands that if he is going to pursue and rescue his family, then he must pursue with peace of mind. Many people try to fix their problems while angry, frustrated and bitter because of the lack of peace and it does no one any good, in fact it may even make matters worse.
The goal is to pursue problems while having peace of mind and heart
pursuing peace means forgiving and praying for our enemies
And David said to Abiathar the priest Ahimelech's son, I pray thee bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David and David inquired at the Lord saying shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him pursue for thou shalt surely overtake them and without fail recover all (1 Samuel 30:7).
Since most of our problems that we face or will face in the future will involve other people, we must learn to forgive others. Unforgiveness will steal a persons peace very quickly because God cannot help an individual until they forgive. Mark 11:26 says and when you stand praying forgive that your heavenly Father will forgive you your trespasses, but if you do not forgive, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you. If we do not forgive others, we tie Gods hands so that he cannot help us and Trying to handle problems alone is both frustrating and disappointing.
David takes this principle very seriously to the point that he does something that most people would not do, he puts rescuing his family on hold and asks Abiathar the priest to bring him an ephod. The ephod was the priests garment that was worn by the high priest Aaron and his sons while approaching God on the day of atonement to intercede on behalf of the nation of Israel.Because Davids men spake of stoning him, relationship between he and his men needed to be repaired 1. so that he could be at peace with God, 2. so that he could have the peace of mind needed to pursue, 3. David needed support. Verse 9 of 1 Samuel 30 finds David reunited with his men who wanted to stone him earlier, but Davids men needed him just as much as he needed them.God wants us today to pursue with peace,so he will at times place the support that we need in the hands of our enemies.
For example Jesus called Judas friend but he was also an enemy who betrayed him with a kiss.Jobs friends were also Jobs enemies because they had wronged him and God turned judgement away from them after Job prayed for them. And God did not turn Jobs captivity until he prayed for his friends (Job 42). Their deliverance was in each others hands.
Peace will not happen without forgiveness - Bible verses on forgiveness
- Matthew 6:14-15