There is a perfect peace God promised us. I am not talking about the peace of the world. For the believers, perfect peace is a byproduct of the simple command to “trust in” the Lord. This is what Adam and Eve failed to do (Gen 3:6), but what Jesus did to perfection (Lk 22:42). And because he did, we can. Even riding through the storm, you get through it. We are faced with challenges, opposition, and persecution,
Jesus said, “Those who desire ‘to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted’ (2 Timothy 3:12).
Opposition comes both from those far away from us (the Philistines in the Old Testament passage for today), and, sadly, sometimes from those closer to home (the Pharisees in the New Testament passage). How do you find peace in adversity?
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.”
Perfect peace starts with peace with God through Jesus Christ (Eph 2:14). We first have enmity with God because of our sin. Christ died for us while we were still sinners (Ro 5:8) and brought us peace with the Father.
What is Perfect Peace?
In the original Hebrew text, the term “perfect peace” is actually shalom shalom. This shows how in the Hebrew language repetition communicates intensity. It is not just shalom; it is shalom shalom, “perfect peace.” It is as if God wasn’t satisfied to give us one door of peace to walk through; He opened up the double doors of peace and said, “shalom shalom.” If one assurance of peace is not enough for us, He will follow it with a second and then put on top of those two the promise to keep us there.
To be kept in this perfect peace, our mind must be stayed. So, what sustains your mind? What do you lay your mind upon? What upholds your mind? What does your mind stand fast upon? What is your mind established upon? What does your mind lean upon? To have this perfect peace, your mind cannot occasionally come to the Lord; it must be stayed on Him.
To be kept in this perfect peace, our mind must be stayed on the Lord. If our mind is stayed on ourselves, or our problems, or the problem people in our lives or having, or on anything else, we cannot have this perfect peace God promises. This is the heart that says with the Apostle Paul, “that I may know Him” (Philippians 3:10). Satan loves to get our minds, our focus on anything except God and His love for us! James Says:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2–4, ESV).
What James is saying is to “count it all joy,” he encourages the believer to evaluate the way they look at trials, tests, tribulations. James wants believers to know to expect “trials of various kinds” (James 1:2) in the Christian life. We should be prepared and not caught off guard when a sudden trial comes upon us, or when we see storms moving in our lives. Trials are part of the Christian experience. Jesus told His disciples, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).
Trials are difficult and painful. But they exist for a purpose. Trials have the potential of producing something good in us, and, for this reason, they are an opportunity for expressing joy. Knowing there is a bigger picture, we can consider trials as things to rejoice in. Even though joy is contrary to our normal reaction, James urges us to work on changing our attitude toward troubles from dread to positive expectation, faith, trust, and even joy.
James 1:3 explains that God intends trials to test our faith and produce spiritual perseverance. Trials are like training challenges for an athlete. They build physical endurance and stamina. The athlete looks forward to physical and mental challenges because of the benefits that follow. If we were to walk through life on easy street and never face hardship, our Christian character would remain untested and underdeveloped. Trials develop our spiritual muscles, giving us the stamina and endurance to stay the course (Romans 5:2–5). We can count it all joy in trials because in them we learn to depend on God and trust Him. Faith that is tested becomes genuine faith, rugged faith, uncompromising faith: “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6–7).
I believe this same peace Jesus operated in when He was scorned and persecuted, we can walk in that same peace. Jesus suffered greatly at the hands of evil men. In this life, we deal with the trials of sickness, tragedy, natural disasters, and malevolence.
Jesus said, “John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
And yet, for the believers, we can walk through it all with peace and purpose. The life that God calls us to is wonderful because Jesus has overcome the world. Christ suffered mightily because God called him to suffer. And yet, the author of Hebrews says that Christ was anointed with the “oil of joy” (Heb 1:9).
Here, Jesus promises peace. If we trust him and walk faithfully in our lives through what God has for us, being thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:18) for every little blessing, we will live a life of joy and peace in the presence of God.
Jesus said I have overcome the world.”
When Jesus spoke these words, he had not yet faced his trial in the Garden of Gethsemane. He had not yet suffered the mocking, beating, spitting, and torture at the hands of the Jews and the Romans. He had not yet been abandoned by all his followers, betrayed by his disciple, or denied by one of his closest friends. He had not yet been hung on a cross and forsaken by his Father for the only time in all of eternity. And yet, that he had already overcome the world was evident in the tense he used (I have, rather than I will). He would face what was to come because he was the Lamb slain since the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). As his followers, we too can face anything because, in Him, we too have overcome. Take heart my sister, grid up your lions, and walk out what God has for you for your joy and his glory. Start decree and declaring that your season of frustration, test, trails are over. You best is yet to come. Just think about the men of old in the Bible that suffered persecution.
We are told that when God became flesh that he was “a man of sorrows” and “acquainted with grief.”
Jesus was rejected by members of his own family, endured the shame of his hometown community who gossiped about his “illegitimacy,” was hated by the religious leaders of his day, betrayed by friends, falsely accused, beaten, and tortured to death. And again, this was the path of the incarnate God, one he chose and willingly endured. The Bible said, He endured the, cross, despising the shame. He finished the work.
As a child Joseph is thrown down a well, exported to a foreign land, sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, and forgotten in prison.
The prophet Jeremiah prompted by a God-given “fire shut up in his bones” is compelled to speak truth to a corrupt religious culture around him. In exchange Jeremiah is rejected, mocked, put in stocks, and thrown down a well.
John the Baptist
John the Baptist spoke truth to power, calling out the king for immorality, and because of this boldness rotted in prison, questioned whether Jesus was truly the Messiah, then was decapitated when the king promised his daughter any request after she danced seductively for him and his friends.
Here are some of Paul’s own descriptions of what he endured:
- Fellow Jews plot to kill Paul in Damascus and he must be lowered in a basket from city walls to escape (Acts 9:23).
- Hellenists seek to kill him in Jerusalem, so he must flee to Caesarea (Acts 9:29).
- Paul is persecuted and run out of Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:15).
- Facing likely arrest and stoning at Iconium, Paul flees to Lystra and Derbe (Acts 14:5).
- He is stoned, dragged out of Lystra, and left for dead (Acts 14:19).
- Paul is opposed by elders and others in Jerusalem (Acts 15:11).
- He is arrested as a disturber of the peace, beaten with rods, and imprisoned at Philippi (Acts 16:23).
- Paul is ordered by Roman officials to leave Philippi (Acts 16:39).
- Attacked where he lodged in Thessalonica, Paul must be secreted away to Beroea (Acts 17:5-7, 10).
- Paul is forced out of Beroea and must flee to Athens (Acts 17:13-15).
- He is mocked in Athens for teaching about the resurrection (Acts 17:32).
- Paul is apprehended by fellow Jews and taken before the judgment seat of Gallio in Corinth (Acts 18:12).
- He is opposed by the silversmiths in Ephesus, who riot against him (Acts 19:23-41).
- Paul is plotted against by the Jews in Greece (Acts 20:3).
- He is apprehended by the mob in Jerusalem (Acts 21:27-30).
- Paul is arrested and detained by the Romans (Acts 22:24).
- He barely escapes being scourged (Acts 22:24-29).
- Paul is rescued from the Sanhedrin and Pharisees during their violent uprising in Jerusalem (Acts 23:1-10).
- Assassination plots are made against him by fellow Jews, who swear an oath to find and kill him (Acts 23:12-22).
- Paul endures a two-year imprisonment in Caesarea (Acts 23:33-27:2).
- He is shipwrecked on the island of Malta (Acts 27:41-28:1).
- Paul is bitten by a snake (Acts 28:3-5).
- He is imprisoned in Rome (Acts 28:16-31).
Paul was executed by decapitation ca. 68 A.D.
You might be hurt, and going through trials, challenges in your life, maybe health problems, but remember, no matter the storms that come, trial and tribulations we go through, we are overcomer, in the end, WE WIN. Please Read: Why does God Allow Us to go Through Trials and Tribulations?
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