THE BATTLEGROUND IN OUR HEARTS
Though our souls long for God, our sinful natures rebel at His ways. Part of us yearns for God and part of us reaches for fleshly desires. Our hearts are a battleground of continual conflict. This inner struggle causes tension and excessive strain. Without God we are “…like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt,” (Isaiah 57:20).
There can be no peace until all of life — mind, body, spirit and soul — are coordinated by the One who made us and understands us. He is not only master of the world, but knows your life and mine from the beginning to the end. He was thinking of us when He came into the world “to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace,” (Luke 1:79).
As the Prince of Peace, He invites you to come to Him, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28). When you come to Him, you will find relief and relaxation in the freedom that He can only give. Your peace will be as a river (Isaiah 48:18); an active, sparkling peace that is refreshing and strong, a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Will you come to Jesus, casting your burden(s) upon Him? He says, “Peace I leave you, my peace I give unto you… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” (John 14:27).
Faith and trust are the antidotes for fear and anxiety. How restful it is to trust in the only God Who is from everlasting to everlasting, to have a Friend Who never changes, whose love never dies. This Friend is ever thinking of us, ever caring for us. So why worry and fret? Learn to do as we read in 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” There is peace when the battle is over, so why not surrender you life to the Lord? Remember, if you trust, you don’t worry, and if you worry, you don’t trust. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:because he trusteth in thee,” (Isaiah 26:3).
Resentment is a poison that also robs you of your peace of mind. It leads to discouragement and hopeless confusion. It is hard to forgive those who have done you an injustice, but you must if you wish to be forgiven. “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses,” (Matthew 6:15). As faith is born in your heart, you are able to surrender your will. Instead of resentment and irritation, your heart is filled with love and mercy, and you experience and inner tranquility. When Jesus is reigning in your heart, you will love your enemies. Only through Christ’s redeeming blood can this occur.
REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION OF SIN LEADS TO PEACE OF MIND.
Maybe you feel the heavy load of past sins weighing you down, and you feel you have more than you can bear. The Lord offers the remedy with, “Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord,” (Acts 3:19). 1 John 1:9 also says, “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” As a result, you will have peace with God through our lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
In the twenty-third Psalm David expresses his confidence in God. He gives a very descriptive message of the peace he experienced. This peace and fellowship is for all those who have a vital companionship with the Shepherd.
THE TWENTY-THIRD PSALM.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thous preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
Do you know this Shepherd? Do you believe and trust him? Isaiah tells us that this tender, merciful Shepherd “shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom,” (Isaiah 40:11). Are you ready to be lifted out of the confusion into the serenity of God’s everlasting arms? Are you ready to commit to Him your past sins, your present temptations, your fears of the future, and yield yourself completely to Him? The Lord gives you the choice. It is yours to make.
When you come to Jesus Christ with your whole heart, your search for peace of mind will be over. He will give peace and a calm that comes only from trusting Him, and you will be able to say with the poet:
I know a peace, where there is no peace, A calm where wild winds blow, A secret place where face to face, With the Master I may go.
-Ralph Spalding Cushman
You will have peace of mind in a troubled world! Open the door of your heart to Christ (just now) and someday He’ll open the door of heaven for you, where perfect peace will reign and never end!
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Published by the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite