Encourage0gram April 26, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
Peace appears 92 times in New Testament and 267 times in the Old Testament. Shalom is the most popular greeting in the Hebrew language. Do you need a fresh infusion of peace today? Let’s take a quick survey of some statements that Jesus, Paul and Isaiah made about peace.
“Peace be with you.” These are the first words Jesus said to his disciples when He appeared to them in his glorified, resurrected, human body! Before he went to the cross he promised that he had given them His peace
ESV John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Notice that this peace has been given in His unique way and that it is a remedy for our fears. Later, Jesus expands on this thought with these words
ESV John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
This peace is found IN HIM. It is thrilling to see and experience the peace that only Jesus gives us! Pray for this peace to rest on all of us. For those who are weeping and for those who are rejoicing today.
Paul says that our justification by faith in Jesus gives us forever peace.
ESV Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
ESV Philippians 4:6-9 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me-- practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you
In Philippians 4:6, Paul promises “peace that surpasses our comprehension” as we pray with thanksgiving. This peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus! This is our daily experience of God’s peace. Prayer is the key to experiencing His peace. Prayer that is honest to express our anxieties and fears. Prayer that relies totally on Jesus. Prayer with thanks for the certain knowledge that He cares and is able and willing to give us peace even in the middle of a storm. Let us remember that Paul wrote these words while he was in chains in a Roman prison cell.
This New Testament promise of peace flows out of the Old Testament predictions and promises of peace. For example, Isaiah calls Messiah the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). One of the most profound promises of peace is found in
ESV Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Our personal trust in God gives us the assurance of “perfect peace.” Perfect peace is the translation of a simple phrase “shalom, shalom” in Hebrew. Shalom in its most basic meaning means to be complete. Therefore, peace is promised to touch every dimension of our lives as we trust in the Lord.
Edward Henry Bickersteth, Jr., 1875. Bickersteth was vacationing in Harrogate, England, where he heard a sermon on Isaiah 26:3. The minister related that the Hebrew text used the word peace twice to indicate absolute perfection. The idea was still on Bickersteth's mind when he visited a dying relative that afternoon. To soothe the man's emotional turmoil, Bickersteth opened his Bible to read from Isaiah 26:3. He wrote down these lyrics, just as they appear today, and read them to the man: perhaps the last thing he heard before Jesus called him "to heaven's perfect peace."
This unique poem poses a question and an answer in each verse. Read prayerfully through it and give thanks for God’s perfect peace. He will meet all your needs and give you peace in any and every circumstance you will face today and every day.
- Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
- Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.
- Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.
- Peace, perfect peace, ’mid suffering’s sharpest throes?
The sympathy of Jesus breathes repose.
- Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.
- Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.
- Peace, perfect peace, death shad’wing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its pow’rs.
8. It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
And Jesus calls us to Heav’n’s perfect peace.
Shalom, Shalom my dear ones!
This Sunday at FCC, we will celebrate blessings that God has given us. It will be a unique “Body Life” service for all generations. Come with an eager heart expecting to see good hand of the Lord upon us.