Monday, December 28, 2020

Faith In God Gives Us Peace, Not Praying Itself

Philippians 4:4-8, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 teaches us to commit our worries and problems unto prayer, and then claim the perfect peace of God which passes all understanding. Once we pray, God is on the job and we can rest by faith. Amen! This is how to have the PEACE OF GOD. It is a matter of faith. Dear friend, it is not prayer that gives us peace; but rather, having faith in God. Mark 11:22b, “Have faith in God.” 

The preceding passage of Scripture from Philippians 4:6-8 doesn't teach us that the peace of God comes from answered prayer. No! The Bible says that prayer itself gives us peace, because we are committing our problems and burdens to God. This requires enough faith to believe that when we pray, God hears and answers prayer if it is His will. 1st John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

I got gloriously saved when I was 13 years old. I am now 53. I have been a child of God for 40 years. As I grow older in the Lord, I am learning not to read just one Bible verse, but to examine the surrounding verses as well. Doing this has greatly enhanced my knowledge of the truth of the Scriptures. For example:

1st Peter 5:6-10, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”

It is interesting that God tells us to CAST OUR CARES UPON HIM, sandwiched between two Scriptures about humbling ourselves unto God, and resisting our adversary the Devil. We are all suffering in this life, some much more than others. The Bible says that one source of encouragement is knowing that our Christian brothers and sisters are suffering the same hardships in the world. But the Scripture promises us that this temporal suffering will soon end, because we have the hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ (Titus 1:2). We have God's promise as believers that He will make us perfect (complete), stablish, strengthen and settle us. Life is a learning process. This is called in theology sanctification (John 17:17).

Romans 8:28-30 - All Things Work Together For Good

The Bible promises that all things (good and bad alike) will ultimately work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. This refers to every born-again believer. We are the elect, the chosen. God didn't choose us to salvation; He chose us in His foreknowledge because we chose His Son by faith. ...

Romans 8:28-30, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Before the world began God promised eternal life through faith in Christ (Titus 1:2). In His divine foreknowledge, God predestinated every believer to be conformed into the likeness of His Son. In other words, God had big plans for me before I was ever even conceived. Jeremiah 1:5 says that God knew Jeremiah before he was conceived, and appointed him as a prophet unto the nations. By the way, this proves that abortion is evil. Those babies have lives from the time they are conceived.

This brings up a great point! When a large extended family is anticipating the arrival of a new birth, it is a BIG THING! The whole family gets excited. Uncles start building cribs, and aunties start knitting sweaters and scarfs. Mom's and Dad's are already suggesting potential names for the soon to be, baby! At the baby shower, family and friends go all out, sparing no expense to spoil that new wonderful baby girl or boy. Family members purchase all kinds of helpful (and some not so helpful) things for the baby. I love that. I think it is a good thing for young couples to receive the gifts and money to help them out a bit. It's the thought that counts. But please take away from this lesson, the truth that God has a plan for your life. That plan existed before the world began, when He promised to save them that believe. You are special to God.

Before we were even conceived, our big family up in Heaven (Ephesians 3:15) was excited about our arrival. We were the new kid on the block! God had big plans already in His mind for us. Matthew 18:10, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels (plural) do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. This is a remarkable Scripture passage. It warns that you'd better be careful how you treat a child of God, because our guardian angels are always watching the Father's face. They are waiting for their next royal command from their Lord. Angels are servants in Heaven. That is their job. Every Christians has at least TWO guardian angels watching over them. I think that is pretty cool.

And if you are saved, God had big plans for you too. God made the promise of eternal life before the earth and universe were ever created. God already had a prepared plan for your life and mine. We have been called according to “His purpose.” God's purpose is to conform us into Christ's image. This requires allowing us to suffer. Yes, God will cause and allow hardships and sufferings in our life to teach us lessons, so that one day soon He'll be able to present us faultless. I hope you can see the big picture dear reader. Before the world even began, God promised eternal life though faith in Christ. As an excited Father and Savior, the Lord devised a plan for our life, awaiting our arrival when the time came to be born. God waited nearly 6,000 years for me to be born on March 5, 1967. God rejoiced when I was born, as He does when every Christian is born, because God has a bunch of plans for us.

With that in mind, we should just pray, casting our burdens, heartaches, frustrations (i.e., all our cares) upon the Lord. We all have many cares. You and I won't make it unless with trust God to guide us in life. I have tried for 15 years to organize my life. I have failed. I have tried to relocate and move to the United States. I have failed. My life is a mess. People don't care. Christians at the Harvest Baptist Church of Guam in Micronesia don't care. I mean nothing to them, but they mean everything to me. I commit myself unto prayer for them, but they return hatred for my love. Psalms 109:4-5, “For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.”

In John 14:1-3, we learn further details about the things Jesus is preparing for believe in Heaven. Here, the Lord promises that He is preparing a place for us to live. John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” My favorite part of the Bible verse is not getting a house in Heaven; but rather, Jesus' promising that we will be together there. A house is not a home, and it won't be a home if Jesus isn't there! I want to be with Jesus!!! Jesus said that He is coming to get us (I think that means the Rapture), so that we can be with Him, so we'll be together. I love that! I need to be around Jesus. I need His help, friendship and love. 

It is one's faith in God that gives us peace, and nothing else. No matter how bad things may be, God is faithful (1st Corinthians 1:9). You may not feel like God is being faithful in the heat of the battle, but I assure you that He is faithful. Just continue in faith! God has a complete plan for every believer, from before the world was created, unto the future time when we shall be glorified with Jesus in eternity. If we mess up God's perfect will for us, then God adapts His plans and works with us. When we accidently break God's fishing pole, he lovingly telling us that we'll just catch shorter fish. God is full of love, patience and understanding. 

God wants to work in our lives. But we are the main hindrance. God cannot help us if we are full of pride. James 4:6 says God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. A humble person acknowledges that they need God's help. I need God's wisdom all the time. Only through studying and pondering the meaning of the Bible can we grow in the knowledge of Christ. Most people misunderstand the Bible horribly. The King James Bible is: “THE BOOK THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE” (awesome MP3 sermon by Brother Lester Roloff).

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