Peace and Contentment

Who today, can write of peace and contentment, first-hand?
This post was meant for the series Contentment and was the most difficult of all, so it did not make it in that series. However, we thought it would fit well as a chapter in Beyond a Mere Christianity. In seeking to share what I know, and what I have discovered from God’s Word, this may have been the one I needed the most. It is one thing to write what I have learned, second-hand, but quite different to share it from experience. I wanted to do more with this post. I do not do the subject of peace justice. Except I write a book, I cannot cover it all. So I pray the Lord’s blessings for what we offer here.

I know the peace that is “the fruit of the Spirit” of God (Galatians 5:22). I can share no other peace than what God has given me through His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). It has been tried and I have many times been lacking; not because I do not have peace, but because it is not a natural trait. It will always be tested while we live in the midst of chaos.

Here, we will pose some questions and attempt to answer from the Word of the Lord.

How do peace and contentment relate to each other? There is no Biblical reference that combines these two. Since we have written many other posts on contentment, we will document what we know of peace, seeing that the two are similar, understanding that one compliments the other. If we have the peace of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, we will be content in His peace.

The Source of Peace
The question is not, “what” but “where and who is the source of peace?” Peace comes from the Lord, our God, who originally created all things for peace in His kingdom.

He is still the source and the giver of His peace.

“The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” Numbers 6:26

“The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

We are “led forth with peace.” Isaiah 55:12

He has “made a covenant of peace, an everlasting covenant with His people.” Ezekiel 37:26

“He keeps in perfect peace those whose mind is stayed on Him and trusts in Him.” Isaiah 26:3

“Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. Isaiah 26:12

He promises His people a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; Isaiah 32:18

Peace is associated with His light. Isaiah 45:7

He creates “the fruit of the lips; ‘Peace.’” Isaiah 57:19

He extends peace to His people “like a river,” Isaiah 66:12

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

He reveals his “abundance of peace and truth.” Jeremiah 33:6

HE IS THE GOD OF PEACE   

 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.”  1 Corinthians 14:33

 In letters to the early churches, the apostle Paul included greetings from the God of peace Romans 15:33, Romans 16:20, 2 Thessalonians 3:16

He is “the God of hope that fills believers with joy and peace.” Romans 15:13

As the God of peace, He established the everlasting covenant through Christ. Hebrews 13:20 and sanctifies and preserves His people until Christ returns. 1 Thessalonians 5:23

PEACE OF GOD
The peace of God “rules in our hearts,” Colossians 3:15

 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

 PEACE FROM GOD
Paul spoke of “grace and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ to the saints and brethren“ in Romans 1:7, Colossians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, Titus 1:4, Philemon 1:3.

John spoke of “grace, mercy, and peace, in truth and love.” 2 John 1:3

PEACE WITH GOD
There is only one reference to peace with God, which comes by faith, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE
There are many references that associate peace with righteousness.

The most familiar may be Romans 14:17

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

The Psalmist speaks of peace that comes by righteousness. Psalm 72:3

“Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Psalm 85:10

“the righteous flourish; with abundance of peace.” Psalm 72:7

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” Isaiah 32:17

 And “the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:18

Hebrews 12:11 says that “chastening yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Paul instructs Timothy to “follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22

WISDOM AND PEACE
Peace is the result of wisdom.

“For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” Proverbs 3:2

“Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Proverbs 3:17

The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, James 3:17

GOSPEL OF PEACE
Paul speaks of “our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:15 and “the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace! Romans 10:15

GOD’S LAW AND PEACE
Those who love God’s law have “great peace: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165

Great peace comes from the Lord as we are taught by Him. Isaiah 54:13

Gracious Father of grace and peace, we thank you for giving us your Son that we may be brought to you in His peace; that we may live in peace with you and Him through the power of your Holy Spirit. Fill us with your Spirit, that we may live in this peace, content with whatever you have chosen for us as you prepare us for your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Related Artice: The Peace of Christ at Christmas
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Heaven in a Bucket

The Lord said to me, “At the end of each day bring me all your thoughts from that day in a bucket. This will be your test of how much you have of heaven.”

I found a small bucket, but before the end of the first day I needed more than one. Little did I realize how many thoughts one mind could have in a single day. With three small buckets I approached God’s throne. He sifted through my buckets, asking where I had gotten each thought.

In reply I answered, “That one from a book; that one from a magazine; that one from a friend.”   Others I tried to remember, but didn’t know how they got there.

“There’s not much here of heaven ~ a few words of prayer for a friend, but not much else.” He said.

As I returned home I wondered why there were no more thoughts of heaven in my buckets that day. I decided that I would do better, and have some thoughts the next day that would please God.

I found a larger bucket the next morning and set about to collect what I thought God wanted. Looking in the library I came across the writings of the great philosophers.   As I diligently searched through these I could see the Lord’s pleasure; my bucket was filling up. I felt so good about my new thoughts and myself. Then, I went to talk to a friend ~ who had a brilliant mind and a PHD in science and physics. Before the day was over my bucket was almost full. Let’s see ~ what else can I put in my bucket? There’s an excellent movie playing at the local theater ~ one destined for an academy award. And it was a wonderful movie. My bucket was full.

Well, how did I do today, Lord.”

“You have really been busy,” He said, as He examined the contents, “But I find nothing here of heaven, not even a prayer.”

“If this isn’t part of heaven, what is all this that I thought was so good.” I asked.

“It’s all of the world, dear.” I’ll see you again, tomorrow.”

That night before bed I knelt and acknowledged that I didn’t know what He wanted, but I would try harder tomorrow.

The first thought the next morning was that, perhaps the bucket itself was all wrong. Maybe it attracts the wrong thoughts. So I set out to find the best and biggest bucket I could find for that day’s thoughts. I found the perfect one ~ advertised as the one “that you need for your best thoughts” ~ quite expensive, too, but knowing that this would be what God was looking for, it was worth the price.

But that day dragged on without success. And becoming depressed about what I should have in my bucket, my tears began to fill the bucket. It was almost too heavy as I carried it ~ and it became heavier as I continued crying. The way seemed longer that day, but the closer I came the lighter the bucket seemed.leaky

As I reached God’s throne of grace He smiled, and said, “Seems that you have sprung a leak in that expensive bucket.”

“Why can you smile, Lord, when I feel so terrible ~ and look~ after I searched all day my bucket is empty?”

“I can smile, my child, because you have finally discovered the secret. No bucket in the world will attract and contain the things of heaven. As the creator and ruler of my kingdom, I have determined the kind of receptacle you need, and the thoughts that will fill it.”

As I bowed before Him I asked for this vessel and His knowledge of heavenly things. I submitted, as He said I must, my bucket and all my human efforts of pleasing Him.

He gave me a “new heart and a new spirit” that only “seeks His kingdom and His righteousness,” and makes me continually aware of His presence, spreading His love of Jesus in and through me. Through His Word and prayer, morning by morning He wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. Isaiah 50:4

“By His mercies” each morning “I present myself’” to Him to be “filled with His fullness” all day ~ no longer “conformed to this world, but being transformed by the renewing of my mind. His thoughts are kept and “obeyed” in my heart and life as He keeps me by His own power.

His kingdom is coming and His will is being done, in me, as it is in heaven.

“And the God of peace ….
make you perfect in all things….
working in you that which is pleasing in His sight
through Jesus Christ,
to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
Hebrews 13:20-21

(From The Little Boat and other Short Stories of God’s Grace)
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