By Donald P. Ames
Introduction: Passage full of rich material and many lessons. Want to move in and focus on a particular theme mentioned by Paul.
I. The Pence Of God.
A. In time of adversity.
1. Some find poverty, etc., hard to accept.
a. “Peace” built on financial security.
b. Desire to “get all I can.”
2. Yet, Eccl. 5:10.
a. Phil. 4:10-13 was Paul’s “peace.”
b. With thanksgiving – Phil. 4:6.
(1) Sometimes can only see present Psa. 73.
(2) Always others worse off.
(3) Need to keep things in proper perspective.
c. Not all riches are material (Rev. 2:9).
d. Dear Abby article – “Don’t thank God – thank me for food said father. Child bowed head after thanking daddy and said ‘and thank you God for daddy.”‘
B. In times of persecution.
1. Easy to become bitter, seek revenge.
a. Tend to be like Peter (Matt. 26:51-53).
b. Samson good example of futility (Judg. 15:10-11).
2. There is joy and “peace” in persecution (Matt. 5:10-12; Acts 5:40-42).
a. Not “martyr complex” but because doing something right.
b. This “peace of God” enables (Rom. 12:20-21; Acts 7:60).
c. Feel sorry for them rather than seek revenge.
C. When facing death.
1. Time of sorrow for all (Acts 8:2).
a. Some spend life time seeking ways to avoid death.
b. Some “never same” after loss of loved one.
c. Some preoccupied with exploring “life after death.”
2. Bible helps provide “peace of God” in facing death.
a. Phil. 1:23; 2 Tim. 4:7-8; Rev. 21:4.
b. 2 Sam. 12:22-23.
c. John 10:10 (liken to baby leaving its world in mother’s womb to find out didn’t know what life really was).
d. May mourn loss, but accept with “peace of God.”
D. In times of discouragement, disappointment.
1 . Defeat hard for all to accept – especially if hard goal.
a. Athlete after life-time effort.
b. Elderly feel discouraged, rejected in old folks home.
c. Business man after financial disaster due to lies.
2. God provides “peace” for us.
a. Rom. 8:28,3 1; Heb. 11; Job; Psa. are rich treasures.
b. They overcame because God cares – we can too!
c. With right attitude, God can turn defeat to victory (as evidenced by Joseph).
E. For things we have done wrong.
1 . Many regret sins – very hard on selves.
2. Some unable to cope – commit suicide (Judas).
3. Rom. 5:1 – God gives us “peace.”
a. Heb. 4:15-16 encourages us with assurances.
b. Attitude of Peter: “Make Him proud of me again!”
II. This Is The Peace The World Is Looking For:
A. But the world has turned to wrong sources (James 4:14).
1. World now full of marriage, financial, moral problems.
2. World’s concept is materialism, humanism, political power.
a. Luke 12:13-21; Obad. 1:3-4.
b. Matt. 16:26.
3. All sought by Solomon (Eccl. 12:13-14).
B. God only source for this peace (Phil. 4:9).
1. Rom. 15:13; 2 Thess. 3:16.
2. This “peace of God” is a peace only “God of peace” can give!
C. Experienced by those “in Christ” (Phil. 4:7; John 14:27).
1. World cannot grasp or enjoy in true sense.
a. Built on better promises, hope (John 16:33).
b. Found in God’s word (Phil. 4:9).
2. How get “into Christ” (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27)?
Conclusion: Christ pleads – Matt. 11:28-30. Let Him give you peace – now and later!
Guardian of Truth XXX: 14, p. 430
July 17, 1986