Peace For Troubled Christians
q God knows every detail about every Christian’s life & every church. No trouble that we face individually or as a church is new to God & He enables us to handle it in faith, hope & love.
q This was a troubled church – persecution, affliction, false teachers, satanic opposition, sexual immorality, confusion about the future when Jesus returns, members unwilling to work…
q But God can give peace to these brothers & sisters even in this litany of trials & troubles.
I. God is the Source of Peace (v. 16)
A. Insight from OT (Judg. 6:22-24a)
“Jehovah-shalom” means the Lord is peace. “shalom” has a wide variety of meanings – prosperity, security, success, maturity & harmony. God’s people don’t want to constantly be in conflict with unbelievers, the world or enemies. God can send peace by removing war & conflict as in Judges. God’s peace comes from loving Him & His word (Ps. 119: 165). God’s peace enables individual believers to have restful sleep in times of trouble (Ps. 4:8). He also give peace & prosperity to His people collectively (Ps. 147:14). God’s peace cannot be separated from His presence (Num. 6:24-26). God offers perfect peace to anyone who has faith & trust in Him (Is. 26:3) – “shalom shalom” is translated perfect peace. When we face trouble, we must remember that God may remove the trouble or give you peace, restful sleep & prosperity without removing your trouble.
B. Insight from NT
“εἰρήνη” can mean a state of well-being, rest, reconciliation with God & the absence of conflict. This peace does not come from anything or anyone else in this world (Jn. 14:27); from the Father, Son & HS (1Co. 1:3; Gal. 5:22); brings freedom from distress, fear & anxiety (Jn. 14:27; Phil. 4:7); associated with healing – physical & spiritual (Mk. 5:34; Lk. 7:50) & wisdom (Jas. 3:17). This peace affects us both external & internal!
II. God Gives Peace & Grace for Every Situation (v. 16, 18)
A. In the Home
Peace & contentment if you are single or married (1Co. 7:1-40; 15). Peace between husband & wife requires humility, submission, understanding, nurturing, sacrifice, love & respect (Eph. 5:22-33; 1Pe. 3:1-7). Peace between parents & children – obedience, honor, love, correction & counsel (Eph. 6:1-4). God gives peace for every relationship & situation in our home. Is there peace in your home? You must humble yourself & obey God’s counsel…
B. In the Church
Peace between members & among the membership at large is to be expected & the normal way of life (Mk. 9:50b; 1Co. 14:33; 2Co. 13:11). Peace requires humility, compassion, patience, grace & caring from all members (Eph. 4:1-3). Do you have conflict, unresolved issues, anger, bitterness, envy, jealousy or strife w/members of NHBC? It should not be that way. You could have God’s peace today - His word, Spirit & grace is available to help…
C. In the World
When possible, we are to be at peace with relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, supervisors, subordinates, students, etc. (Rom. 12:18; Eph. 6:5-9). God has given us everything necessary “to love life & have good days” (1Pe. 3:10-11) – seek & pursue it.
ILL: Gen. 37-50 details the life of Joseph. His life was riddled with trials, cruelty & injustice – brothers hated him, sold into slavery & taken from his family, falsely accused of rape, put in prison, .forgotten & taken advantage of while in prison. But “the Lord was with Joseph”, blessed him & gave him peace from God. Gen. 45:7-8a; 50:20. God made evil against him beneficial for him = peace!
APPL: Likewise we can have peace when we are hated, falsely accused, experience injustice, overlooked, forgotten & taken advantage of because God is causing all of these things to work together for our good. And He has given us grace to persevere!
My brother or sister if you have been waiting for God to remove your trouble or thorn before you experience peace, we learned today that you do not have to wait. God’s peace is available at all times & in every situation. Even if God does not remove your trouble, you can still have perfect peace, restful sleep, free from distress, fear & anxiety, healing (physical & spiritual) & wisdom from above. There is no trouble, trial, misery or pain that God has not seen & He will bring you through with His peace & grace. Do you want God’s peace in your troubling situation right now? He promises to give it, but must also seek peace & pursue it. You don’t have to leave here today distressed, in fear or worried. Jesus said, “Peace I leave you; my peace I give to you.” Will you receive it by faith & trust the Lord to make even the worst of trouble work together for your good?
And if you are not a Christian today, then you do not know the peace of God yet; you have not experienced the peace of God yet. You are still at war with God & you are still an enemy of God. But that can all change when you surrender to Christ; stop making excuses & justifying your sin. Call upon Jesus today; He’ll set you free, forgive your sin & end the war that’s going on inside you. Then you’ll know the peace of God so that you can love life & have good days. Do it today; do it right now!
If you are not a member of a church or considering membership at a church, we would love to have you join us. You are not alone in your trouble & trials of life. Join with us as we face life’s challenges together in the peace of God!
SUBJECT: Peace For Troubled Christians
TEXT: 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18
LOCATION: New Hope Baptist Church
DATE: January 27, 2008
OCASSION: Sun. Morning Worship
SERMON INDEX NUMBER: 886
FILE LOCATION: BX4
Prepared by Willie D. Woodmore