TITLE: THE PEACE OF HEART AND MIND THAT IS BORN OF FAITH
Subtitle: The Peace That Passeth All Understanding (Phil.4:7, KJV)
Many noted philosophers of antiquity have voiced the desire to find truth, but none that I know of ever claimed to have found it. For many the search continues, while multitudes of others would give almost anything they own to find inner peace. The tragedy of it all is that both groups are, for the most part, still looking in all of the wrong places! Which reminds me of the drunk who was down on his hands and knees at the base of a street lamp. Along came a cop who asked him what he was doing. The drunk replied that he had lost his watch. After the cop spent several minutes scouring the area trying to help him find it, he asked him to point out the specific area where he thought that he has lost it. The drunk pointed to an area across the street! When the cop asked him why he was looking under the street lamp, his reply was that the light was better! While this joke is intended to be silly, most people today are making the same mistake through a lack of understanding about the nature of spiritual enlightenment—they insist upon trying to look for it under the street lamp of human ingenuity and philosophy. Sooner or later this plan of attack will prove fruitless (as it always does) and some will wind up finding themselves victims of cynicism and soured on the world.
If one is to know truth and to achieve inner peace and happiness, he must go to the source of the light—Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of John, chapter eight and verse 12 we read the following:
"Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
Chapter 14 and verse 6 then adds:
"Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
Thus we learn that Christ is the very embodiment of Truth and that He provides the only genuine spiritual illumination in the world. I stress genuine illumination because as you probably have learned, "The Cutting Edge" web site is dedicated to exposing the pseudo-enlightenment so sought after by those who follow Satan—the god of this world and the spiritual enemy of even those who seek his favor!
Even as I write these words, my heart is heavy as I sense the misery and pain that is so prevalent in our world today. Indescribable heartache is often as near as the person sitting next to us at work or perhaps in a place of entertainment, where they are trying to forget about reality for a little while. Peace of heart and mind is as far removed from them as the East is from the West and they have long since given up on the prospect. But what makes this all the more pathetic is the realization that some of these discouraged people are Christians—those for whom Christ died—and their anguish is totally unnecessary! Just last night a relative and her husband (both Christians) came by to visit and we had not talked but just a few minutes before the tears once again began to flow down her cheeks. About two years ago, her youngest son—long recognized as being a troubled child—took his own life and to this day she is still beating herself up by engaging in what I call "the woulda, coulda, shoulda blame game." Peace for her is a very elusive thing because she is still trying to shoulder the blame and carry a burden that the Lord has promised to carry for her!
Perhaps you, or someone you know, are locked up in a similar prison and desperately need the necessary faith to open the door. If you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, that freedom is to be found through prayer and the willingness to trust Him to do what He says He will do. Faith that works—gets the job done—is not to be found within us. It is not innate; we were not born with it and we can not develop it—it must be granted to us as a gift from God. So do yourself a favor and don’t waste time praying for it unless you have made up your mind that you are going to do everything you can to cooperate with God. Otherwise, you are going to be disappointed.
The kind of faith that we should seek is the same as that which our children exhibit. They are innocent and trusting—not really knowing (or caring) that they are completely dependent, but relying upon us to provide for their every need. They just "know" that we will take care of them and they never give it a second thought. They are also not the least bit timid because when they want something, they ask for it. This is as it should be in a loving family. And the wonderful thing about faith is that our heavenly Father intends that we have the same kind of relationship with Him. Our days should be spent in the same carefree atmosphere of our earliest childhood, simply trusting in and relying upon God to take care of everything. Worry is, and should be, foreign to the world of a child—as well as a child of God.
The apostle Peter eventually learned this principle and we see a very vivid demonstration of it in Acts, chapter twelve. Here we learn that King Herod—always the consummate politician—decided to persecute the Church because he knew that it would please the Jews. In the process, he had James the brother of John executed and Peter arrested. His subsequent treatment of Peter is very revealing in that it shows us he was extremely wary of the supernatural power that had been demonstrated by these followers of the former carpenter from Nazareth. The command was that Peter be guarded around the clock by a squad of sixteen soldiers ("four quaternions," KJV)—not ordinary jailers, as would be the usual case. Plus Peter was bound by two chains (not just one) and positioned between two of the soldiers at all times. Then as an added precaution he was situated in one of the innermost prison cells, which meant that for a prisoner to get out, he would have to pass by two door guards ("wards", vs.10 KJV). All of these extreme measures tell us that Peter was not considered to be an average prisoner and Herod’s obvious intent was to execute him as well. The body of Jesus had mysteriously "disappeared" after being buried, but Herod was going to take every precaution to insure that Peter remained in custody.
We could certainly understand it if Peter, because of his humanity, spent each moment of his time on death row in agony of soul—worrying about what kind of pain and suffering awaited him. But we find an entirely unexpected scene in verse six, where we read:
"The very night before Herod was about to bring him forth, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).
Each time I read these words I am reminded of the incident recorded in the Gospel of Mark where the Lord had just finished His Sermon on the Mount. And in chapter 4, beginning in verse 35 we see this:
"On that same day [when] evening had come, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side [of the lake]. And leaving the throng, they took Him with them, [just] as He was, in the boat [in which He was sitting]. And other boats were with Him. And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled. But He [Himself] was in the stern [of the boat], asleep on the [leather] cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing? And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm (a perfect peacefulness)" (Mark 4:35-39, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Commentary, emphasis mine).
In both of these instances we find a peace of heart and mind exhibited that transcends mere human nature. The Lord Jesus Christ knew that "his hour had not yet come" and He was perfectly safe in the middle of that howling storm. In like manner, Peter too knew that it was not time for him to die! We find the verification of this recorded in the Gospel of John, where the Lord (prophetically informing Peter of the circumstances surrounding his own future death) says this to him:
"I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, when you were young you girded yourself [put on your own belt or girdle] and you walked about wherever you pleased to go. But when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will put a girdle around you and carry you where you do not wish to go. He said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. And after this, He said to him, Follow me!" (John 21:18-19, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).
Through the "eyes of faith," Peter knew that he was not yet an old man and therefore his death was not imminent. Resting in the promises of his Savior, Peter was sleeping like a baby! This faith was rewarded shortly thereafter when an angel came to miraculously liberate him. The chains binding him just fell off and all of the prison doors opened by themselves and allowed him to escape. If it were not for the fact that Herod executed the soldiers for "allowing" Peter to escape, the whole affair would be hilarious!
However, I must hasten to point out that you and I do not have the Lord’s Word on when or how we will die, or any assurances that nothing bad will ever happen to us. But this does not excuse us from depending upon the words of Habakkuk 2:4 and Galatians 3:11, where we are told that "the just shall live by faith." As believers in Jesus Christ, we are to live our lives one day at a time and depend upon Him to sustain us in every trial. In the Book of 1 Samuel, we are told in verse 22:
"The Lord will not forsake His people for His great name’s sake, for it has pleased Him to make you a people for Himself" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
Although in context this is speaking to the nation of Israel, the very same principle and promise applies to Christians today. We have His Word on it in Matthew 28:18-20 in what has come to be known as "The Great Commission":
Jesus approached and breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be)" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).
The Lord does not just stay beside us, but actually lives within us and therefore—"sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24). He has a plan and a purpose for each of us to fulfill and for all intents and purposes we are invincible until such time as He is through with us! It is a very interesting fact of history that Alexander the Great convinced his men of this same principle (but not on a Christian level, of course). His philosophy was that they were invincible until such time as the gods determined that "their number was up!" He demonstrated his personal belief by showing absolutely no fear in battle—very often exposing himself to danger that he could have avoided as their leader. It is said that on several occasions he was actually the first one to scale a city’s wall and then fight for several minutes before the next man over was able to assist him. This kind of unshakable faith and resolve so stirred his men that they conquered the known world for him.
Some years ago a friend of mine who is personally acquainted with Rev. Ian Paisley—a Free Presbyterian pastor of Northern Ireland and a member of Parliament—related to me an incident concerning Dr. Paisley which demonstrates this type of faith. As many of you may know, Dr. Paisley is an ardent foe of the Irish Republican Army and the genocidal conflict still taking place in that troubled land. Because of his very vocal stance on the issues involved there, Dr. Paisley is a marked man and under a constant threat of death. Everywhere he goes he must be protected by Scotland Yard, or by teams of other British security agencies. For many years he was invited to attend the "Founder’s Day" activities at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., because of his friendship with Dr. Bob Jones Jr. Each year this trip required a security "sweep" of the campus and a high visibility on the part of police. On one particular occasion, the "heat" by the IRA was especially intense—so much so that the security detail insisted that he wear a bullet-proof vest. His immediate reply was, (in his thick Irish brogue) "I’ll not be wearing Saul’s armor. As long as God’s hand is upon me, they cannot kill me!" He believes that and practices it.
Are you resting in the security of Jesus Christ? If you are a genuine believer, there is no reason to fret about the uncertainties of life. No matter what the world, the flesh, and the devil may throw at us, we are guaranteed of success as long as we "abide in Him" (John 15:4, 7). In achieving that success, we may lose our lives in the process, but "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord", Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8. Christ is the Great Shepherd of the sheep and constantly watches over us—guarding us against harm until He is ready to take us home.
In closing, I want to quote the words of John Chrysostom—that old staunch believer of the 5th century, when he was threatened with banishment by the Roman Emperor because of his faith: "Thou canst not banish me, for this world is my Father’s house." "But I will slay thee," said the Emperor. "Nay, thou canst not," said the noble champion of the faith, "for my life is hid with Christ in God." To this the Emperor replied, "I will take away thy treasures." "Nay thou canst not, for my treasure is in heaven and my heart is there." Finally the Emperor said, "But I will drive thee away from man and thou shalt have no friend left." "Nay thou canst not, for I have a friend in heaven from whom thou canst not separate me! I defy thee; for there is nothing that thou canst do to hurt me!"
To put it another way, the apostle Paul says in Romans chapter eight and verse 31:
"What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?] [Psalm 118:6]. (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order -- Kingdom of Antichrist -- in their daily news.
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