Friday, July 24, 2009

Peace Like A River

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and peace. Joy is contentment with life and our circumstances. Not happiness as we think about it. Well, peace is a similar fruit in that way. I want to let you in on a little secret about peace. Peace is not the absence of problems. Peace is the presence of Jesus in the midst of your problems. You see, you cannot always rejoice in your losses, but you can always rejoice in the Lord.

Paul told us that we should “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NKJV) What is the opposite of not being anxious? Not worrying. The English word worry comes from the German “wurgën” which literally means to strangle. Worry strangles out our love and joy, and robs us of our peace.

I heard about a man who was a worrier. He worried so much and about so much, he caused people around him to worry. One day he came home from work and he was happy as a lark, his disposition had totally changed. His wife said, “What’s gotten into you? You’re not worried about anything?” He said, “No. Not at all.” She asked him what had changed sense he left for work. He said he had hired a professional worrier to worry for him. Naturally, this worried the wife. She said, “How much is that costing us?” He nonchalantly told her, “$1,000 a day.” She almost passed out! “How are we going to afford that bill!?” she screamed. To which he replied, “I’ll let him worry about that.”

Let me tell you what worry does, spiritually speaking. Worry makes us practical atheists. We may say we trust God, but when we worry, we’re telling God we don’t think much of Him or His abilities. We also tell God we think He is a liar. That He does not keep His word. Like Romans 8:28 or 1 Peter 5:7 where we’re told He works things together for good, and that we are to cast all of our cares upon Him.

So to have peace, we need joy—contentment in our circumstances. And to have joy we must have love—a commitment we make to ourselves and others. Then we may have true, Biblical peace. As Corrie Ten Boone once said: "When I look at the world, I get distressed. When I look at myself, I get depressed. But when I look at Jesus, I am at rest."



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