Not the Peace of the World

Posted on 01/29/2017 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


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IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
lyrics by Horatio Spafford
music by Philip Bliss

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


LORD YOU'VE BEEN SO GOOD
by Benjamin R. Faust

VERSE ONE
Lord, You've been so good to me
You gave me sight when I was blind
You showed me light I could not see
You brought me truth I could not find

Lord, You've been so good to me
You paid a debt I could not pay
You turned my darkest night to day
Lord You've been so good to me!

CHORUS
And so I praise You in the morning
and I praise You in the night
For You are my Salvation
You are my Guiding Light
So I give You my everything
I just can't give You less
When You sent Your Son to love me
You gave me Your best!

VERSE TWO
Lord, You've been so good to me
You set my feet on solid ground
You rescued my life from the grave
when no other help could be found
Lord, You've been so good to me
and I could never repay
All the love You gave so freely
Lord, You've been so good to me!

(CHORUS)

BRIDGE
Lord You've been so good to me
Lord You've been so good to me (better than I deserve)
Lord You've been so good to me
You paid a debt I could not pay
You turned my darkest night to day
Lord You've been so good to me

Lord You've been so good to me
Lord You've been so good to me (you're good all the time)
Lord You've been so good to me
and I could never repay
All the love You gave so freely
Lord You've been so good to me

(CHORUS)

You gave me Your best!
You gave me Your best!

Lord, You've been so good to me.


I SURRENDER ALL
by Judson W. Van DeVenter

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow;
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Now I feel the sacred flame;
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!


*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction, song service, and today's message. ***


Today, I'd like for us to take a little detour from our series, and talk about something for which everyone spends their entire life seeking, but very few ever find.

Have you ever said, or heard someone else say, they just want a little bit of peace and quiet? Or that they just want to wind down, relax, take a break, or get away?

Of course you and they, WE, obviously don't mean that we want to become more stressed, or more agitated, or less at ease.

We often think of our home as a safe place, where we can unwind, put down our defenses, and get away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

To find this thing for which we're searching, some people try meditation, while others turn to drugs or alcohol. Many of us watch our favorite television programs or listen to our musical selection of choice.

Sure, we all want happiness, but there is something deeper, something without which true, lasting happiness cannot be ours.

And that one thing everyone craves, that one thing that is the only foundation for true joy, happiness, and fulfilment, that one thing that seems to be more fleeting the harder we try to make it or achieve it, is....

PEACE.


Now, I titled today's message, "Not the Peace of the World." And the reason for that title is that I would like to paint a contrast between the kind of peace most people understand, and the peace that comes from dwelling in the Presence of God.

As we considered a moment ago, the world sees peace as either an external circumstance, or an inner feeling that can be created or destroyed by what is going on around them.

But Jesus said in John 14:27,

John 14:27 (TLS*)

27 I leave Peace with you, as I give you My Peace; and the Peace I give you is not the kind the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

And two chapters later, in John 16:33, He says this:

John 16:33 (TLS*)

33 I have told you these things so that, in me, you may be filled with peace. In the world you will experience troubles, but be of good cheer -- I have overcome the world.

So first He says His peace is not the kind the world gives, and then He says that, even though, in this world, the circumstances will not always be ones that would cause WORLDLY peace, HIS Peace will still remain.


Have you ever known someone who easily became angry, or fearful, or distressed? One moment they would seem relatively calm, but at the first little jostling, they would blow up or shut down or seem badly shaken.

Is it the circumstance or event that causes the anger, fear, or dismay? Well, ponder this: suppose you were to put water in cups, bowls, pitchers, and bottles, and you put all those containers in a freezer. Would the water all freeze? Or would some of it freeze, some of it boil, and some of it remain unaffected?

And suppose you dropped a different color of dye into the water in each container, and perhaps added some different flavors and different kinds of sweeteners, so they were all unique. Would they still all begin to freeze?

So the cold temperature is what causes the water to freeze. It could be soda, tea, soy milk, fruit juice, or pond water with little tadpoles swimming around, and they would all freeze, regardless of their differences in flavor, inner ingredients, and outer appearances.

So we could say that the outer circumstance, the cold, is what causes the water to become hard and expand.

Are we like water-based liquids? If you have a sinus cold, you might say yes; but that aside: do outer circumstances, like the cold, have the power to control our inner state?

Or, maybe we are more like cups of liquid sitting on a table. When the table gets bumped, the cups that are close to being full are likely to have some of their contents spill over the side. Does the same thing come out of every cup? Or, instead, is whatever spills out exactly what was already inside?

The bumping of the table does not make the fruit juice spill out vinegar, nor does the steadying of the table turn the vinegar into a fruit smoothie.

And THAT is how WE are. If we are full of worry and fear, the slightest jostle can cause that inner distress to spill out. Whatever surfaces when circumstances or other people's words or actions seem to cause us to react, that simply shows what was already inside.

Someone who is TRULY at peace and is not attached to this world and its temporary stories and forms, although they may experience various feelings during various events, that peace is still there.

We can look at it this way: the temporary does not have power over the eternal. So if something happens to or around you, whatever reactions bubble up are probably not eternal. Whatever happens in this realm of time can not control that which is timeless.

In the same way, outer turmoil cannot destroy inner peace. If it seems to, then either the peace was not God's Peace, or you have stepped out of that Peace and have gotten caught up in this temporary world once again.

Haven't we all? And this is not a reason to judge yourself by thinking, "Look at me, I'm so unspiritual; shame on me for being so carnally-minded." Instead, it is simply a fact; it is simply "what is." It is a reminder that parts of who you think you are are temporary, earthly, and passing away.

And it can wake us back up, so that we take our eyes off of the wind and waves, off of the stories and temporary circumstances and situations, off of the dramas that play out on the stage of this temporary life, this world, this age; and we instead bring our attention back into that which is eternal, vastly spacious, unshakably peaceful, and intensely and joyfully alive.

"I leave Peace with you, as I give you My Peace; and the Peace I give you is not the kind the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

"I have told you these things so that, in me, you may be filled with peace. In the world you will experience troubles, but be of good cheer -- I have overcome the world."

Jesus has overcome the world, this age, the realm of temporary forms of matter and persons and dramas and stories. He has overcome them -- or has come over them, risen above them, transcended them.

He is seated, rooted, and abiding in, heavenly places. And we are seated WITH Him there -- in that place that is far above the storms and tides that rise and fall, the waves that furiously crash and then quickly are no more.

As long as we are attached to the things of this earth, holding on to what our minds think SHOULD be, or what WE DESERVE, or what others have done wrong to us, or what happened in that realm yesterday or what may happen tomorrow, we will be separated from true, unshakable, timeless, eternal peace.

But it is still there, underneath. We might destroy ourselves and those around us be getting caught in the storm, by looking around us as the wind and waves instead of keeping our eyes, our attention, on where He Is. But that realm, that heavenly place, where He Is, within me, within you, that place of Perfect Peace in the Presence of Jehovah, that remains.

We might not be able to change what others are doing or what is going on around us, but we can stop getting caught up in it and taking it so seriously, as though it is any more than the shifting sands or the clouds in the sky.

And instead, we can plant our feet on the solid rock, bringing our attention into the Temple of God where His Spirit Dwells.

Our minds can THINK about that place, but a strong enough jostle will pull them back into the fray.

Or, perhaps we can simply observe the mind thinking about that place, and return our attention away from its activities, and back into Presence.

The Kingdom of Heaven is where? What did Jesus say? The Kingdom of Heaven is....... within you. And GOD is within you. His Spirit, His Breath, His Life, is filling the Temple of your body.

So dwell there with Him. Delight in His Life. Dance in His Joy. Feast upon His Magnificent Beauty. And Rest in His Everlasting Peace.