So this morning I was back at my home church in Inverness: beautiful!
It was great to worship with this family again. My favourite church Dad was leading worship, my most wonderful young people were standing next to me. I felt joy and hope and love. And the Presence of God. I’m so glad to spend time back here.
And I got to join the fruit of the Spirit series at my church. Thinking about how the more like Jesus we are the higher up the mountain we go.
Peace. To know peace in the storms of life.
Peace is a spiritual fruit.
There is temporary counterfeit peace that the world gives, which is in comparison to the perfect peace that Jesus gives.
But Jesus has a peace to give us that the world cannot give.
It is permanent not temporary.
It is dependant upon who He is, rather than our circumstances.
Knowing peace with God leads us to know the peace of God.
Through Jesus, I can have peace with God. This is incredible! One day I will stand before God and say, ‘Almighty God, I am here because of Jesus.’
Jesus has stood in my place. He has dealt with every wrong thought or behaviour so that I can have peace with God.
And that leads on, so that we can know the peace of God that passes all understanding.
We know there are situations which rob us of peace. The disciples lost their peace as they were in a boat and a storm descended that threatened to dash their ship.
But they lost their peace for a few reasons.
They were not listening. Jesus had said to them, ‘We are going over to the other side’. That was the Word of God to them. If the disciples had listened to His Word, they would have been assured that even when things looked bleak the promises of God stood firm.
We have to stand on the promises that God has given to us.
In the midst of the darkness and the storm, God has spoken, and in the midst of the storm, we can retain our peace by standing on the promises of God.
They were not looking. Well, they were, but their vision was terribly blurred. They looked at Jesus and saw Him sleeping, and they blamed Him.
But we should look at Jesus to follow His example.
They lost their peace because they weren’t looking at the way that Jesus handled the situation. Jesus is asleep in the boat, because His Father has told Him to sleep in the boat.
We can trust His example.
They were not learning.
Are you learning?
The disciples were still shocked that Jesus could still the wind and the waves by His voice. They still didn’t understand who Jesus was, even though they have witnessed the miracles, the dead being raised, the demons being cast out.
When I’m learning everyday, more about the greatness of the Jesus that I serve, more of who He is… the greater will be my peace. God doesn’t remove the problem, He just increases our peace, because we know this God is big enough to cope with it.
So our peace increases as we listen to Him, look to His face, and learn day by day about the greatness of this wonderful Saviour.
And please pray as I head down to Glasgow in the morning that Bible college is a time where the peace of God transcends all understanding.
And this is Matt, being typically unimpressed with his presents! 😉