I have so many words this morning, very few of which are an honor to God. I am reluctant to share the mind melt because many of my words are angry and argumentative. Even my own thoughts contradict one another. So, I share the words of another today and I shall sit in quiet peace with my beautiful grandson. He is all that is new and good in my world. He is JOY personified. I pray for my country and many other countries for which this type of unrest is a daily occurrence. Peace be with you and yours, dear reader.

The following is an excerpt from a sermon written by John MacArthur in 1983.

WorldThe Quechua Indians in Ecuador and Bolivia use a word for peace that literally translates, “to sit down in one’s heart.” For them peace is the opposite of running around in the midst of constant anxieties. The Chol Indians of Mexico define peace as “a quiet heart.”

The Apostle Paul said he could be content in any circumstance; and he demonstrated that he had peace even in the jail at Philippi, where he sang and remained confident that God was being gracious to him. Then when the opportunity arose, he communicated God’s goodness to the Philippian jailer, and brought him and his family to salvation. Likewise, James wrote, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2).

The peace Jesus is speaking of enables believers to remain calm in the most wildly fearful circumstances. It enables them to hush a cry, still a riot, rejoice in pain and trial, and sing in the middle of suffering. This peace is never by circumstances, but instead affects and even overrules them.

The natural man lacks peace with God. We all come into the world fighting against God, because we are a part of the rebellion that started with Adam and Eve. Romans 5:10 says we were enemies of God. We fought against God, and everything we did militated against His principles.

But when we receive Jesus Christ, we cease being enemies of God–we make a truce with Him. We come over to His side, and the hostility is ended. Jesus Christ wrote the treaty with the blood of His cross. That treaty, that bond, that covenant of peace declares the objective fact that we now are at peace with Him.

Perfect peace comes when our focus is off the problem, off the trouble, and constantly on Christ. Isaiah 26:3 says, “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.”

In the midst of a society in which we are constantly bombarded with advertising and other worldly pressures designed to get us to focus on our needs and problems, how can we keep our minds focused on Christ? By studying the Word of God and being taught by the Holy Spirit and permitting Him to fix our hearts on the person of Jesus Christ.

Most people who lack peace simply have not taken the time to pursue it. God’s peace comes to those with the personal discipline to stop in the midst of the maelstrom of life and take time to seek Him. It is a condition of peace that we cease from life’s activity and know Him. He commands, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, King James Version). And to those whose minds are steadfastly fixed on Him, He gives the gift of peace.

 

© 1983 by John MacArthur.  All rights reserved.  Unless otherwise identified, all Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, and 1977 by The Lockman Foundation, and are used by permission.
READ THE SERMON IN ITS ENTIRETY HERE.