Jan Mikael (8 Sep 2010)
""Peace of Mind in TheseTroubled Times" by David Wilkerson - July 19, 2010"
"Peace of Mind in These Troubled Times"
by David Wilkerson
July 19, 2010
Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"
14:27). Christ shared these words with his disciples on the eve of his
crucifixion. It was meant to give them comfort and reassurance in what would
be the darkest hour of their faith. Since that time Christians down through
the ages have drawn comfort from Jesus' words here, to sustain them through
their most difficult trials.
Yet today many Christians do have troubled hearts and do live in fear. I
know from the letters sent to our ministry that many believers are secretly
plagued with panic, turmoil and sleepless nights.
Christ adds yet another assurance in the same verse: "Peace I leave with
you, my peace I give unto you." Yet many Christians find themselves unable
to find peace of mind. For many, peace comes and goes, leaving them worried,
restless, battered by stress.
In Luke's Gospel, the prophet Zacharias said of the coming
Messiah, "That he would grant unto us, that we being
delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him
without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all
the days of our life" (Luke 1:74-75).
Here is one of the primary reasons Jesus came to earth and died for sinful
humankind: that we might walk with God without fear, enjoying his peace all
the days of our lives. This seems impossible when facing disasters,
afflictions and awful sorrows, and in our periods of suffering, testing and
uncertainty. In times like these we feel overwhelmed and fear grips our
heart. How can we stay in peace when all seems out of control?
Zacharias said this about the Messiah: "To give light to them that sit in
darkness and in the shadow of death...to guide our feet into the way of
peace" (1:79, my italics). He was saying that Jesus would guide us all in
the path of peace - not into restlessness, emptiness or fear, but into calm
and rest. This is his promise, but to some the path seems just the opposite.
Scripture calls Jesus the Prince of Peace. At his birth the angels declared
in song, "Peace on earth!" The apostle Paul describes the Good News
Christ as the "gospel of peace." Jesus himself said, "In me ye
peace" (John 16:33). Simply put, peace is what the gospel is all about.
"The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by
Jesus Christ" (Acts 10:36).
When Paul outlines the acceptable way we are to serve the Lord, it includes
walking in God's peace: "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but
righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these
things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us
therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith
one may edify another" (Romans 14:17-19, my italics).
In this world we will face tribulation, persecution, fiery trials,
"fightings without and fears within," as Paul says in 2 Corinthians
will be tempted and we will suffer. The winds of adversity will try to
topple the house of faith we build on Jesus, the Rock of our salvation.
But still we are to serve him in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy
Spirit. Paul's prayer for the church was this: "May the Lord of peace
himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with
you all!" (2 Thessalonians 3:16). Think of it: peace in our circumstance!
God is set on providing peace for us even in our worst circumstance.
God's goal for his children is that we live free of all care and worry. We
know this, we profess it and the Scriptures confirm it, but many of us have
not entered into such a walk. God desires for us to be set free: "Be
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).
Paul says here that by taking everything to God in prayer all our anxieties
and requests - we obtain his peace. So, do you take everything to God in
prayer? It is not a mark of humility to withhold requests from him. This
verse says he invites all our requests. And he is pleased when we do this.
Yet we are not to misunderstand Paul's meaning here. The blessing of making
our requests known isn't that we come out of the prayer closest with our
request suddenly answered our sickness gone, our problem solved. It is that
we emerge having been touched by God, our heart set at peace. In
short, our strife, fear and anxiety are removed because we have been with
"It is impossible to have
true peace without a fresh
touch of his hand in the
midst of trouble"
"For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath
broken down the middle wall of partition between us"
The most tragically deluded people on earth are those who claim peace
outside of Jesus. Their "peace" rests in a false sense of security.
now America is full of various eastern religions and doctrines, all
purporting to offer peace of mind. Many adherents claim that meditating in
solitude or repeating a mantra brings them peace. They say, "If I become
troubled, I go into my room and meditate. That helps me shut everything
Contrast this with Jesus. In his days on earth, our Lord was most glorified
during times of adversity. He faced every crisis head on. And as the Head of
the church today, he can bestow his peace on his people in the midst of
every trouble we face.
If you think about it, there is one thing the world cannot handle:
adversity. Those who are drawn to cults simply deny the adversity in their
life by escaping into a world of illusion. Likewise, followers of eastern
practices give themselves over to "nothingness." Any sense of peace
obtain dissipates after a day or two as the pressures of the world come
flooding back in.
What Jesus offers isn't emptiness. On the contrary, he offers fullness - a
peace that is continually renewing. It doesn't empty us but rather restores
us with abundant life.
Others in the world rely on self-determination to overcome problems and
worries. They claim, "I was going down the wrong path, hurting myself and
family. I knew it was time to make a change, so I turned over a new leaf. I
weaned myself from all my bad habits and started doing what was right. Today
I'm not the same person I used to be. I worked hard to earn this peace I
have. And I believe God is pleased with me."
We who follow Christ know from his Word, "By the deeds of the law there
shall no flesh be justified in his sight" (Romans 3:20). The next time the
self-determined person falls into sin, all his hard-earned peace will be
gone. And he'll be devastated that he was deceived by a false dream.
True peace is the result of being justified by faith.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our
Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). There must be a solid foundation for our
Scripture says that foundation is justification. We are able to have peace
because Jesus Christ has justified us before the heavenly Father.
Yet some Christians have never entered into the great peace that this
justification brings. It is vital that we understand what "justified"
because this concept holds the key to our peace.
Justification entails two principles. First, it says that my sins are
blotted out. I have been acquitted of all iniquity by the blood of Jesus
Christ. Those sins are no longer held against me because when Christ went to
the cross he paid for them all.
In short, this justification is by faith in the Rock, our foundation of all
peace in God. To "justify" means to pronounce one guiltless. It is to
proclaim our debt fully paid by Christ and that God is satisfied. Jesus was
"delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our
(Romans 4:25). He was raised to declare us free from all blame.
Yet being justified means more than just being forgiven. Jesus not only
cleared me of all my sins; he also made me acceptable to the Father by his
This is the second great part of justification. Not only have I been
declared innocent and guiltless, but I also have been declared holy in God's
You can work hard to have victory over every besetting sin. You can be
faultless, gaining control over every habit, conquering your temper or evil
thoughts, casting aside all evil speaking. Yet through it all you may still
be building on the wrong foundation. Why? Because your peace cannot come
from what you do or how you feel.
I acknowledge I have lived this way at times in my life. During those brief
periods, I knew in my heart I've been saved by grace through faith and that
my good works would not save me. Yet like so many others I expected God to
bless me according to my performance. My peace would come and go
according to my sense of "goodness" or an outbreak of
"badness." Failure of
any kind would bring despair and a loss of peace.
Perhaps you've had this struggle. You so want to please the Lord. But you
judge your standing in God by "how you're doing" rather than by what
has done for you. If you're honest, you would see you're judging your inner
peace and even your salvation by your performance.
No, never! You cannot justify yourself by any human means. And you simply
can't know the peace of God through Christ until you understand its
foundation. It comes only from knowing you are right in the sight of God
through Jesus' shed blood. It is for this reason alone you are "accepted
The people of God are to pursue peace in a much different way by entering
into the truth of what Christ has done for us. His Word says, "Let the
of God rule in your hearts, to the which ye also are called in one body; and
be ye thankful" (Colossians 3:15).
Jesus will keep on justifying us, all the way until we meet him in eternity.
And our faith in him will continually produce in us a sanctifying power.
"That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them
that are sanctified by faith that is in me" (Acts 26:18).
We know we are accepted by
him because he invites us to
come boldly to his throne.
Let me ask you: Why would God invite you to his throne if he were mad at
you? You may condemn yourself because you had a bad day or did something you
knew grieved the Holy Spirit. But at such times, what does his Word call you
to do? You are to run to the Lord, crying, "Jesus, my heart is
repentant. I know you can blot out all my iniquity."
The Father hasn't turned his back on you. Yet many Christians live as if he
has. They live with constant anxiety, thinking they're saved one moment and
unsaved the next. They live with needless confusion because they don't have
this foundation: "I am justified in the sight of God, by the blood of the
Lamb. And not only am I made righteous in his eyes, I'm also accepted by the
Father as holy. I have a right to enter into his presence."
That's what the story of the prodigal son is all about. Not only was this
gross sinner forgiven, kissed on the neck and given a robe and a new ring,
he was also invited to sit at his father's table to enjoy the feast. That is
the true picture of justification: We are not left to try to appease God and
work ourselves into his good graces. He has done it for us.
Satan stands right now before God, charging you with all kinds of sins:
unfaithfulness, lies, dishonesty, shortcomings. He has a long list of every
wrong thing you've done recently. "The accuser of our brethren...which
accused them before our God day and night" (Revelation 12:10). The devil
says to God, "How can that one be saved with all the things I've seen him
do? I want justice! You
can't be a just God if you let him get away with that."
The devil is right in many of his accusations. You have failed at times. You
have fallen short of God's glory. You have done things that are so unlike
But our Judge is unmoved and unimpressed by any accusation. I hear him in
heaven telling our accuser, "I need no word from you, father of lies. You
have no case. You're bringing accusations against someone I have already
acquitted. Now, be gone!"
We need not be afraid of our Judge. He is on our side and has blotted out
all our transgressions: "Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back"
38:17). "Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea"
7:19). "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own
sake, and will not remember thy sins" (Isaiah 43:25).
I see the King of glory standing before our accuser, demanding, "Who shall
lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth"
Some reading this are simply living beneath your privileges. You are
carrying a load of guilt and worry that you need not carry. God wants you to
know how clear you are in heaven, that even now you are ready for glory. And
he wants you to appropriate the peace that is yours.
In his second epistle, Peter speaks of a final world meltdown. Yet even in
the midst of such a horrendous time at the world's most troubled hour peace
"All these things shall be dissolved ...the elements shall
melt with fervent heat.... Wherefore beloved, seeing that ye
look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of
him in peace, without spot, and blameless"
(2 Peter 3:11-12,14).
On that day when we stand before the Lord, we'll look at his nail-scarred
hands and realize the source of our justification has done more for us than
we could ever accomplish with a lifetime of penance or performance.
God wants us to appropriate his blessing of peace right now.
Our Father wants us to be able to look at Jesus' wounds and declare to the
devil, "That is payment for my sins. You can't accuse me of those things
anymore, Satan. Jesus pleads my case for me. And because of him I am
justified in God's sight."
Recently I prayed, "Lord, I want your peace at all costs. I won't listen
the devil's lies any longer. I know my salvation is not in my performance.
No, Jesus, you alone plead my case. I rest in what you've done for me."
Can you say the same by faith? That you're not going to try
to work your way into God's good pleasure? That Jesus has
taken on all your sins, and that you are able to enter God's
presence through him?
The fact is when God looks at you he sees Christ. He doesn't see the "old
man" Paul refers to, but a New creature in Christ. As Jesus is in glory,
are we in this world: redeemed, justified and set free.
So, are you worried or afraid? Are you condemning yourself ? You don't have
to live in guilt or anxiety anymore. If you've confessed your sins and trust
in the blood of Jesus, those sins are gone, blotted out completely. You are
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in
Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the
Spirit" (Romans 8:1). God says, in effect, "I didn't give
you this fear or condemnation. The devil put it on you. Get
rid of it by faith, saying, I am washed and cleansed by
faith in Jesus. And I know God loves me.'"
If you have done this, the Lord is pleased with you. You are giving him
great joy! That is why he says, "Come boldly into my presence, make your
requests known to me, and ask largely that your joy may be fulfilled."
is true peace !