Peace Found from Resting in God    

Calmly resting in the arms and promises of God results in peace. A peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) Jesus told us “I leave you with MY peace, not the peace of the world… (John 14:27) These scriptures intimate that there is a peace available to us that we do not fully understand and therefore may not capitalize on this life-giving gift. Peace is so important that Jesus states He is leaving us with HIS peace, not that of this world. He is telling us there is a difference between what we think is peaceful and actually being peaceful day after day!

So what does peace mean to you? A quiet day with no children? A place far away from your daily life where you can commune with God, yourself, and nature? Meditation? Although your answer may be one of these or a different one, it is likely NOT the peace God/Jesus means for us to experience.

Writing these sermons often teaches me more than I can imagine prior to putting pen to paper. After having a heart attack I have been “seeking” peace, but to no avail. Fear and concern still wrapped their dark fingers around my heart and mind. Today, as I wrote copious notes for this sermon, I suddenly understood. Peace is INTERNAL, not our external environment as we often assume. For example, I “feel” peace when I am walking along the ocean, but that is not the peace Jesus left for me. Jesus left me with the ability to be calm and peaceful even when everything around me was out of control. He is telling all of us that true peace is a CONSTANT state of mind and being, not a temporary respite from our daily troubles.

Jesus first taught us to find peace through RESTING. The word rest is found 257 times in the Bible. Jesus often left the people clamoring for His attention by separating Himself from the crowds and taking time to rest and recharge. In John 4:6 it talks about Jesus feeling weary so He sent the disciples to find food while He rested and recharged by the well. (His interaction with a sinful Samaritan while He rested is well known) In Mark 6:32 Jesus and the disciples left the crowds to rest in a boat but were soon inundated with people who followed Him to seek His healing and words of wisdom. Is your life like that? Do you find yourself surrounded by people with problems and the constant “noise” of modern technology (cell phone, texts, and emails, social media, etc.) when you just need quiet rest? If so I suggest you turn off ALL distractions and focus on God, feeling the peace He has in mind for you and your life.

The Bible states several times that we are commanded to rest on the Sabbath. We are to work 6 days and then rest on the seventh. He examined this behavior to us in Genesis 2:2-3 when He rested after working 6 days to create the earth, the atmosphere, and every living organism. This need for rest is critical to not only our well-being, but the scripture even states it is to allow our animals to rest. This proves how important rest is to God and ALL of His creation! How often do you shut everything down to rest and recharge one day each week? I am guessing seldom or never!

In The Book of Exodus, it is mentioned three times! Exodus 34:12, 20:9, and 23:12. Resting on the Sabbath is also found in Hebrews 4:9-11. Getting enough rest equates to finding the peace God intends for us to experience. Read and think about the following scriptures:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 - Jesus is telling you He will lighten your load and give you rest if you go to Him FIRST!)

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3 – TRUSTING God is paramount to your unbreakable, internal peace)

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14 – He is with you, and leaning on Him enables you to rest in His presence and loving care)

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways when they carry out their wicked schemes.” (Psalm 37:7 – Jesus is telling us that He will judge and punish the evildoers. You need not worry or allow your peace to leave you because ALL GOOD THINGS come to those who love God and trust in His timing)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 – Jesus gives tells us HOW to gain the internal peace we are meant to experience in Him)

“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep [Rest] to those He loves.” (Psalm 127-2 – God is telling us that if we are focused only on working harder to get more, it is non-productive. It is IN Him you find rest. The deeds rewarded by this world will not bring you rejuvenating and regenerative sleep/rest/peace. Likely, you will experience the opposite. When you lean upon, and give your burdens to Him, only then will He GIVE you the rest you need)

Jesus also tells us to find rest in our salvation. If we stay focused on the fact that our future is one of fellowship, and void of pain, weariness, and fear, then we can have internal peace all the time. Today is just a speck in time, but our eternal salvation guarantees us that a much better life awaits us when we leave this world!

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. (Psalm 30:15 – The Bible is very clear about how we obtain rest, but it also admonishes us for not taking advantage of this free gift. This should make us consider how we deal with the pain of life and our stressful moments. Do we smile knowing it is temporary? Do we find peace knowing God has given us the gift of eternal salvation and a future more beautiful than we can imagine? Can reading this scripture help you allow God to carry the heavy loads while you look toward a happy and bright future?

“For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” Isaiah 57:2 – Confidently REST in this assurance and make sure you are walking the righteous road)

Jesus also warned us about things to come [which surely seem at our doorstep now] but He did so to reassure us it is all a plan and it will end well. It will be scary and result in fear [resulting in poor, emotionally charged decisions] thus causing us far more pain than we need to experience. He told us what to expect so that we could reach out to Him and find peace in the turmoil. He wanted us to rest well no matter the external circumstances because it is just a short time of suffering as compared to our eternal life in paradise.

“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.” (John 16:33)

There are so many verses discussing the peace of God and telling us how we can REST in the loving arms of our Lord and Savior that I could write a book! However, my prayer is that this sermon and the verses within will help you find true peace which is INTERNAL. Seek peace from external sources will ensure you only experience temporary moments of reprieve from the crazy world swirling around you. If you REST IN GOD, you will find the internal peace that pervades your entire being and lasts forever.

If you enjoyed this sermon check out our others here or if you have questions please send us a message.

Love, hugs, and blessings, Lisa ><>

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