Saturday, January 12, 2013

Finding Peace in a Troubled World

The quest for peace has always been one of mankind's primary motivations. The evidence of this is seen in how far people will go to experience it. It can come in a myriad of ways, but none of the discoveries of this rare treasure produce true peace so it does not last for very long. 

That is because you cannot manufacture it, legislate it, buy it or grow it. True inner peace is not the result of a new social consciousness. Peace is the result of something happening in our soul; it is an inner reality, not the result of our having obtained, achieved, or experienced something.

True peace comes from having our hearts touched by the Prince of Peace, The Lord Jesus Christ. All of life has but one central focus, embracing the one who loved us so much that He laid down His sinless life willingly, to pay the price for all of our sins. 

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

He alone puts the soul at rest, because we cannot find peace in this life without being rightly related to God, and Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, has made that a reality. He whose Name is above all names, whose power and glory spans time and space, is the one whose sacrifice is the only way to still the conscience of a heart bound by sin.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Finding Peace in a Troubled World

How do we stop the chaos of life to explore and experience such a life changing truth such as this? By making it a crucial priority right now. Another day is more of the same isn't it?

The Quiet Place

There are times in each of our lives when we absolutely must find a quiet place to refresh and renew our spirit.  Life is full of pathways that lead to hardship, suffering and loneliness. We can feel as if we are about to explode with stress and the strain of life. 

We long to find inner peace, but instead .... as an instant gratification bred generation, we remedy our lack of peace by fixing a cocktail, puffing on a pipe, we go shopping, watch TV, play video games, do Face Book, roll on to Twitter, or we try to maintain the separate identities and plot lines of 9 reality shows at once, or obsess about sports, or run, walk, eat, or drop into an escape world of numbed sleep. wonder inner peace is so elusive.

The Road Less traveled is the one we never take

Sometimes we lose our way or stand at a crossroad unsure of which way to turn. Every day our minds are filled with distractions and pressures that trouble us. In reality they are just that...distractions. Deep inside we all know that what we long for the most is inner peace. Like a walk in the forest when the dew is fresh and we are alone and free to just enjoy God's creation...we long for God's peace.

The Quiet Place is a kind of spiritual counterpart to a walk in the forest. No matter where you are, or what you might be doing, my hope is that you can pause here and find encouragement, inspiration and hope.

The Quiet Place does have a foundational focus, and that is that Jesus Christ has provided for each of us a direct access to the presence of God. It is only through Him that we can truly know God and enjoy communion with Him. 

"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6.

The burdens of life are many, and they impact each of us differently, but in reality they are similar. Wherever we may live on this planet, we share in common the reality that life is hard, struggles are painful, and we need an inner strength to rise from our beds each day and face the challenges before us.  

"Be Still and Know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

The Quiet Place has been created as an opportunity to pause in one's day... to seize a moment to stop the chaos and stress of  life, and reflect upon what is truly needed in each of our lives...a time to meet with God. We each long for God whether we realize it or not. That quiet desperation that resides within creates a restlessness that is never satisfied until we find our way to meet with God.

The disciples knew what it was like to be exhausted, hungry and overwhelmed with stress.

“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a Quiet Place, and get some rest.”  So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” Mark 6:30-32

There are many examples in the Bible where God's gentlest whispers were only heard in quiet places.  Elijah along the brook Cherith, David in the cave at Adullam, Moses in the wilderness of Midian, and Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, all met with God when alone and in The Quiet Place.

The burdens of life weaken our bodies, torment our minds, and deadens our spirit.  We often rush to the urgent tasks of our day and miss the most important priority which is time of quiet worship with God. The blessing of a quiet time will be that we will find peace in The Quiet Place

The race of life, when run in our own strength,  leads each of us to a place of eventual exhaustion and a sense of being overwhelmed by life. 

May we each be refreshed daily by our Gentle Shepherd as we meet Him in The Quiet Place

Psalm 23

"The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside Quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff,  they comfort me.You prepare a table before me  in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." 

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:11