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Wonderful Peace

Peace, Peace! Wonderful Peace, Coming
down from the Father above, Sweep over my Spirit forever, I pray, In fathomless
billows of love
.
         These words sung themselves in my mind
as I visited my husband in Memory Care. After a week of ‘going’, I began
singing this song, and as I did, I felt the desired peace swept over me and the
song quietened my spirit. What is it about God’s peace, so powerful that it knows
just what I need at any moment. 
         The composer, Warren D. Cornell, born
in 1858 and died in the 1930’s was born in Michigan.  This song was written during his ministry in
Berlin, Wisconsin between 1881 and 1894. 
What brought him to the point of writing this hymn about Peace, one of
the Fruit of the Spirit?
         This peace is not man-made and written
on a piece of paper, but from God who writes peace on our hearts.  Isaiah 48:48:17-18 pictures God’s peace as a
river of righteousness flowing over us in waves.   
This is what the Lord
says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for
you
 and leads
you along the paths you should follow.
 Oh,
that you had listened to my commands!
Then you would
have had peace flowing like a gentle river
and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.
         Peace is that ‘sweet spot’ of
forgiveness when there is no barrier of sin between God and ourselves.  It is the soul-quieted peace that thrives in
the presence of God within our hearts and minds.
         It is ironic, that when we long to ‘get
away’, we seek time to be ‘still and know He is God.” We choose locations with
mountains of grandeur, ocean waters, paths through the woods, looking for
brilliant sunsets.  All are creations of
God. These are times the world and its turmoil fade away when we have quiet
time with God and pray.  Jesus often
found time to slip away and spend time in prayer with His Father in Heaven
while on earth. 
            What are the three largest
weapons of the Evil One in our lives that erases God’s Peace in our
hearts?  Worry, Fear, and Anger and all
the negative paths leading from them. 
Worrying about ‘what is’ can topple our minds and paralyze us. Worrying
leads to Fear – of change, rocking the boat, acceptance of others, and
measuring up.  Acceptance of ‘what is’
can free us from worry, knowing with confidence God will protect us.
         I John 4:17-19 – God is love, and all who live in love live
in God, and God lives in them.

And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will
not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence
because we live like Jesus here in this world.
Such
love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is
for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his
perfect love.
 We love each other because he loved us
first.
         Our biggest fear is of death and
growing old.  Billions of dollars are
spent to give us the ability to appear looking young as long as possible.  Isn’t it interesting we often say to a loved
one who has died, Rest in Peace? Jesus Christ conquered death by being raised
from the dead.  I Corinthians 15:56-57 –
For
sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
 But thank God! He gives us victory
over sin and death through our Lord Jesus. 
         I
Timothy 3:16 –
Without
question, this is the great mystery of our faith:

Christ was revealed in a human body and
vindicated by the Spirit.
He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was
believed in throughout the world
and taken to heaven in
glory.
         We are not always able to understand
fully this mystery or comprehend the basis for our peace.  James 3:13 –
If you are wise and understand God’s
ways, prove it by living an
honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.
         Peace is the third listed Fruit of the Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-23 – But the Holy Spirit produces this
kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy,
peace
, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
and self-control. There is no law against these things!
         This fruit of the spirit is like a basket woven of nine parts that are
so inter-related that one cannot appear without the other.  Love leads to joy, which leads to peace,
which leads to patience, which leads to kindness, which leads to goodness, which
leads to faithfulness, which leads to gentleness, which leads to self-control.
         Sometimes our life just rocks along and
everything is fine, and then something happens and we cry to the Lord, “Why
me?”  It may be a physical problem, a
wrong choice, financial woes, or just general unrest in the world around
us.  Where is the peace then?
         I remember a Bible Study when we each
shared our favorite verses from the Bible that meant the most to us.  My friend shared John 14:27 – words of Jesus
 “I
am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a
gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” 
Some
time later, we realized something was amiss with my husband, and he was
diagnosed with dementia. This meant moving to be near family.  There were a thousand things I miss each day.  Instead of asking, “Why me?”  I daily ask, “What am I to learn, Lord?”
         This
gift of peace from Jesus is real, tangible and sustainable.  Each time, I walk away from worry and fear,
and verbally pray, “You handle it, God, I cannot!  His peace sweeps over me.  We often think we have to solve the problem
and DO something.  Waiting on the Lord
and listening to Him gives us peace. 
         I
read this quote – ‘
Ultimate
peace is not the absence of storms but inner peace amidst storms.
And man never finds lasting inner peace until he finds peace with God. For when
you find peace with God, you begin to experience peace within.’ (David
Hoffmeister). 

         “Let
the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were
called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 (NIV)

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