We live in a Psalm 46:6 age: "The heathen raged; the kingdoms were moved." Besides the turmoil and uncertainty we see nationally and internationally, many of us deal with personal difficulties in our health, finances, and relationships. Let's face it: serenity is hard to come by in the twenty-first century!
These extreme pressures are really nothing new. The apostle Paul, giant of the Faith though he was, experienced stress too. He expressed it, "Our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outwardly there was fighting; inwardly there were fears" (2 Corinthians 7:5). Yet, in the midst of difficult times, the Lord has promised rest of soul to His people.
All of us long for peace: world peace, peace in our family relationships, peace between ourselves and the people we work with, peace in our circumstances, and most importantly, inner peace. Why does peace seem so elusive, even for those of us who are Christians? How do we manage to achieve true peace -- and then hang onto it?
If we look carefully at the Bible, we see that God really does desire for mankind to have peace. However, there are certain steps we must take in order to enter into it. Let's examine those steps together over the next few pages. I believe that as we do, we will truly begin to experience that all-surpassing peace which the Lord intends for us to possess.
I say "we" for a reason. I have a confession to make: peace has not come easily to me. It was not a fruit of the Spirit which stood out strikingly in me. I have had to battle my way into it, to deliberately fight to keep fear from having a field day in my life. And the battle is not entirely in the past tense yet.
People sometimes think that those who write books are the "experts" who have somehow managed to get it all together. I am not an expert, but someone who is still learning about what it means to live a peace-filled life. I will be sharing with you truths and keys which the Lord has given me by revelation of His Word. However, these are things I am still in the process of acquiring for myself. Sometimes I still fall backward and have to ask the Lord to help me get up and dust myself off, so that I can continue onward -- but I am gaining ground as I go! The victory is achieved by refusing to quit.
In spite of my personal struggle, many, many times when I am praying with people concerning their needs and fears, they tell me afterwards, "I felt peace come all over me when you prayed!" I always tell them that what they are sensing is the Holy Spirit moving upon them. I know it is not anything I possess in the natural. Over the years, I have also often had people comment that I exude peace. This, too, surprises me. But it encourages me that the Lord has made much progress in me. May He continue molding me until the work is perfected. May He fill you with His supernatural peace as well, as you put the concepts in this book into practice.
Shall we begin our adventure together?
The Door to Peace
Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. -- Romans 5:1
We must start at square one. Living a peace-filled life begins with having a relationship with God. There is no alternate route, no other system or way. God is the Originator of all peace. Therefore, until we reconcile with Him, true and lasting peace will not be achievable for us.
Jesus said, "I am the door: if any man enter in by Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture" (John 10:9). Jesus is the starting point for all peace. We must believe that He is the only way to have eternal life and fellowship with God, because that is what the Bible, the only true Word of God, says.
Romans 5:10 tells us that before we embrace Jesus as our Savior, we are enemies of God: "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." The reason we are enemies is because God is completely holy. He hates sin, which is any kind of disobedience toward Him, anything which does not reflect His beautiful, pure nature. Since every one of us has sinned in some way (many ways), we need a means of reconciling with Him.
Jesus said of Himself, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, except through Me" (John 14:6). Jesus is the only way God the Father accepts to get right with Him. There is no other way to life or peace. We don't have the privilege of deciding to meet God on terms we have devised in our own imaginations. He sets the conditions, and what He says is absolute. We must go through Jesus, the Door. But, once we have passed through Jesus into relationship with the Father, every abundant blessing, including peace, is ours.
If you are not yet in fellowship with God through Jesus, you might wonder how to go about getting there. Romans 10:9, 10 tells us, "If you will confess the Lord Jesus [as your Savior] with your mouth, and will believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." In other words, you must believe in your heart that Jesus will save you from eternal damnation, and then you speak that belief with your mouth.
If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, where you know you have a living relationship with Him, you can fix that right now. Simply tell Jesus that you are sorry for your sins and that you want to trust Him to save you. Tell Him you believe He is the Son of God, Who died for you and rose from the dead. Ask Him to be your Lord from now on.
The words you use don't need to be fancy or long. You just need to mean them from your heart. If you need help praying, here's a prayer to help you:
Dear Jesus, I want to know You. Please be my Lord from now on. I believe You died for my sins, and Iím so grateful that You did that for me. Please forgive me for all the wrong things I have ever done. I will love You and be Yours all the days of my life from now on.
If you just asked Jesus to be your Savior, as soon as you did that, the Holy Spirit took up residence in your heart. Peace with God is yours forever -- and He will help you to be peaceful in the midst of circumstances which come your way all through life, too. Perhaps you even felt peace come over you when you prayed that salvation prayer. You have entered through the Door (Jesus). In the remaining chapters of this book, we will talk about how to continue living a life where God's peace is constantly with you.
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Release date 3-20-17
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