peace that passes all understanding
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                                  PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING

                                                by Cathy Brown 

            The Bible exhorts us to be sober, a command hard to do in times like these.

To be sober is to be calm, serious, and solemn.  To be sober is to have your senses in order.  In the first letter of Peter, he exhorts the church scattered abroad, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 1: 13) To be sober is to be full of the peace of God, knowing “that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from you fathers, But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead him, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”

 (I Peter 1: 18 – 21) 

            Peace begins when our depraved souls, “dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2: 1)”, are “quickened” by God, and we become a  “new creature” (II Corinthians 5: 17) in Christ.  Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:  not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”  (John 14: 27) The peace given by the world is not a lasting peace.  The peace given by Christ “passeth all understanding” and “shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” 

            Consider, first of all, that peace is given to the chosen by Christ himself. It is not like the world’s peace.  It is peace that surpasses one’s understanding.  Then, it must be a peace that can sustain a child of God through all evil events.  It is a peace that surrounds and cushions the saints not only in good times, but also in times of need.  Furthermore, a gift from God is not returnable.  Peace is a gift of love and a gift of the assuring presence of God.  It is peace that gives hope and peace in which the soul yearns to be comforted by God. 

            When Peter walked on the water to meet Christ during a raging storm, he was calmed and comforted by seeing the Savior.  His mind was at peace.  When he looked at the boisterous wind, he became afraid and began to sink.  He had taken his eyes off Christ.  This Biblical principle applies as well to God’s people today.  When burdens are heavy, and the trials go long and hard, our temptation is to look away from Christ, and when we do, the burdens and trials seem impossible to bear.  If only we could stay fixed upon Christ, then we could claim victoriously, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

            Note well that it was Christ who beckoned Peter to come out of the boat and walk on the water.  So it is for the saints of God.  Christ beckons us to come out of our protected and comfortable environments and to walk on the waves of real life.  We, like Peter, begin to sink when we take our eyes off Jesus.   Remember also, that it was Christ who reached out and took Peter’s hand immediately after Peter cried out to Him.  Likewise, Christ will do the same for His chosen.   Peace returns and our souls are safely in the fold with the Shepherd of our souls and our Blessed Redeemer.  Bless the Lord, O my soul!

 
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