A Heart At Peace

Everywhere you turn people are crying out for peace. Peace in the Middle East, peace at home, peace in their families, peace on the streets of the cities. 

Isaiah 32:17 NIV says “The fruit of righteousness will be peace and the effects of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwellings, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”

Oh, doesn’t that sound so wonderful? When was the last time you laid your head down at night in a peaceful dwelling, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest? I hope it was last night. But there are many people who never have peace, security and rest. The streets of many cities are filled with violence; the murder rate has gone up; unemployment is higher than it has been in years. Where can the average person find peace?

Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Jesus is the only way to peace. The world’s peace won’t last. There will always be something to steal your peace, but with Jesus you will find everlasting peace.

Philippians 4:7 says “And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” 

The word ‘and’ is a conjunction joining two verses together so when you do what verse 6 says, you can have what verse 7 says.

Verse 6 says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

There is the essence of it. Don’t worry, pray about everything, and give thanks to the Lord for the answer before it comes. Then lay down your head at night in peace.

 After all, Isaiah 9:6 says He, the Messiah, the coming King, Jesus Christ, is the Prince of Peace.

Crappie Dinner

One Sunday, years ago, I was hungry for fish. I was going through a divorce, so money was tight. One of my neighbors fished a lot but he had already told me that he’d given away his last catch and his freezer was empty.

I remember praying a simple prayer, like “Jesus, I’d sure like to have some fish to eat.” About 2 p.m. a kid from down the street rang the doorbell. This family had 3 or 4 little kids under 10 years old and they tormented me a lot, running in and out of my house just like their own. “Mom said to ask you if you want some fish.” I was shocked. Was the Lord going to answer my prayer through them? Of course I said yes, and started to get the sink ready to clean them. Here came that kid again with a plate of fresh fried crappie hot off the fire. “Mom cooked these fish but us kids don’t like them,” and ran off to play.

I recall a story in John 21 that happened after Jesus rose from the dead. Peter had told the others, “I’m going fishing.” The others said, “We’ll go with you.” But they fished all night and caught nothing. When dawn broke, Jesus stood on the beach and called, “Boys, did you catch any fish? Do you have anything to eat with your bread?” They said, “No!” Jesus said, “Cast your net on the right side of the boat,” and they caught so many they couldn’t haul them all in. Peter jumped off and swam to shore. When he got there, Jesus had a fire going, and fish and bread ready to eat. And Jesus said, “Come and have breakfast.”

I believe the feast in heaven may just be crappie and fresh fried hushpuppies, cooked by Jesus Himself.

Gentleman Jesus

They laid Jesus’ dead body in the tomb. Their hopes and dreams of a conquering Messiah to overcome the Roman rulers lay dead, too.

So, their hopes all gone, and in fear for their lives, they all hid out. Life would never be the same again, but life would go on, even without the Messiah.

Except for the women. Their broken hearts gave them a boldness to go to the tomb that Sunday morning. What did they have to lose? They had already lost the only thing that ever mattered to them, their dear Jesus, and they had nowhere else to go, nothing else to do.

So they went to the tomb, as every mother and sister, every woman has for thousands of years, to touch the stone-cold hands one more time and look in the face of that precious one they loved more than life itself. They wanted to smooth oils and perfumes on that cold body to keep it from smelling one more day. In their grief, they just could not let Him go.

The women went to the tomb, worrying about who they could get to move the stone that covered the entrance, but when they got there, the stone was rolled away.

Jesus was gone, risen from the dead. He didn’t need to move the stone to get out. He proved that later when, in His newly resurrected body, He walked through the walls and suddenly appeared to His disciples.

But Jesus, being the gentleman that He is, saw to it that the angels moved the stone, so the women could come in.