Chaplain Corner, May 2020

“A Hope for Lasting Peace ”
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” —Edward Mote
 
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do, I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” —John 14:27 (NKJV)
In the words of the well-known commentator Paul Harvey, “And now the rest of the story.” In the April article we discussed the power of Hope. But more importantly the power of having hope in our Lord. This month lets discuss ‘Peace’.
Peace is what you will feel deep within when you place all your hope in our Lord. There are two different kinds of peace. One kind of peace is an external or environmental peace. It is often obtained by making appropriate changes to our surroundings. Perhaps by keeping things neat and tidy, having plants nearby, tranquil pictures, pleasant things that help to calm you. But it must be understood that no matter how beautiful our environment is there can still be unrest, anxiety, and rage inside our soul. In Matthew 11:28, 29 our Lord says, “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.” What our Lord is addressing here is a peace that is far greater than external peace. The Lords’ peace is internal, and He is promising this treasure to “all who are weary and burdened,” if we will come to Him and embrace His ways.
There are a number of things that can breed anxiety, fear, weariness and unrest. The three most common are:
 
1. Unforgiveness
2. Sin that is not properly addressed
3. Trying to control something or someone over whom we truly have NO control.
 
Let’s call these three “Peace-thieves.” It is impossible to walk in true peace while leaving one of these issues unresolved. Many people seem to struggle with the first two. However, for the believer it seems they may have conquered the first two only to get waylaid by the third one. We humans seem to have trouble letting go of our control. We need to let go and let God have control!
These things can become like storms that will overload us and prevent us from living a peace filled life. The Lord knows that we were not created to carry such burdensome loads like the ones we often try to carry. Commit your ways to following His wise counsel for He has given this promise, “you will find rest for your souls.” There are many things we have some control over, but there are many things we were not given the right to control at all. For example, someone’s actions, world events, this current global pandemic, God’s timing, the weather, nature, God’s love, or God’s forgiveness. When we try to assume God’s right to control, we will be burdened with a weight that is heavier than we were designed to carry. The Apostle Paul said, “…The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 4:5-7
Oftentimes, us humans only worry about our worries when we should be praying about them instead. Please don’t let your hearts be troubled. There are so many burdens that can rob you of peace, but the Lord can and will replace your burdens through His Love and you will find rest for your soul. For He, Himself, is our only Hope for a Lasting Peace. He Loves YOU!!
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until we find rest in you.” –St. Augustine
“When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.” –Phillip P. Bliss
 
Blessings,
Pastor Gary
 
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord—Psalm 31:24