May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
All over the world there are people who want joy and peace. They want to see an end to wars and fighting. They want to see an end to crime. They want to have joy and happiness in their lives with the absence of anything negative looking.
The world seeks the joy in things that they have or do. People feel that if they have certain items, their life will be filled with joy. Or if they have a certain position in a job or society, they will be filled with joy. Or if they take certain drugs, they will find joy in life.
The challenge with all of these methods of seeking joy and peace, is that these things are all temporary. They do not last when things go tough. The world is filled with and ruled by sin, keeping joy and peace away.
True joy and peace comes in trusting in Jesus. The peace is found in trusting that God is actually in control. There is a peace in knowing that God is in control of everything that is going on. Nothing happens without His permission. Everything that happens is for the best of a person.
The joy is found in the hope that a person can have in Jesus. It is knowing that He has saved the person. It is knowing that there is coming a day when there will be no more sorrow or tears. There is coming a day when there will be eternal life with God.
Both of these are found only in the hope that a person has in Jesus. Believing that He did die and raise again. Believing that Jesus did remove all sin. Believing that Jesus will return again some day.
As you believe in Jesus, you will be filled with an eternal hope. That hope will bring about joy and peace in your life, despite the circumstances going on around you or in your life.
The Holy Spirit will give you the power needed to keep moving forward in this life with joy and peace. Know this joy and peace and share it with every person you meet. Everyone wants to have joy and peace, and you have it.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will know the joy and peace found in Jesus; and that God’s Holy Spirit will strengthen you with His power.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1
Paul had just made it clear that doing good works does not save a person. A person is only saved through faith in what Jesus did on the cross. It is only by the grace and mercy of God that a person can receive forgiveness and salvation. Now Paul is talking about the results of receiving that salvation.
The majority of the people around the world are looking for peace. They do not want to be at war with anyone. Yet, the majority are not finding any peace. Nations are constantly at war with each other. Criminals are constantly prowling around to rob and harm others.
Along with the lack of peace between others being seen, there is also a purposeful lack of peace. Many people hold on to grudges of past hurts and refuse to forgive and let things go. There is a constant battle with individuals.
Even stronger than the lack of forgiveness of others, is the lack of forgiveness with God. They are seeking peace with God, not through Jesus, but through doing works for God. Working for God does not bring about any peace with God. There still needs to be forgiveness through faith in Jesus.
When a believer begins to believe in Jesus for forgiveness, there is a peace with God that comes over him. There is no longer a fear of judgment or condemnation. There is no longer a fear that one will not measure up to God’s standards. There is a peace at not having to be concerned about working enough for God to provide salvation.
Peace with God brings about the ability to have peace with others and self.
When you know that you are forgiven and saved by the work of Jesus, you know that you are in right standing with God and have His peace in your life. You will no longer strive to earn your salvation, because you know that you already have it.
This allows you to work for God even more. To work for God and honor Him with your life that He has given you, not to earn something you cannot earn. This peace will pass all understanding, because in reality you do not deserve it, it is a gift from God.
Have faith in God for your salvation and have peace.
I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; that you will have faith in Jesus; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus has given you; and that you will know peace with God in your life.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21
After Jesus had risen from the dead, He began to show Himself to different people. The disciples were in a locked room when Jesus first appeared to them. They were scared, but His first words to them were to be at peace. Then He sends them out to do a work for God.
When a person is going through a difficult time, the last thing he wants is for all of his friends to reject him, or walk away. He needs the help and support of his friends.
While some get the needed support, many have a lot of friends who walk away. They do not support. This is especially true if the situation is very negative.
Very often when a person is accused of a major crime and sentenced to prison, most of his friends reject him. They do not understand how he could have done such a crime. Many people do not want to be associated with someone who has committed a major crime.
People who have been abandoned by another person in great time of need, will often come back later with accusations against that person. He will be angry for being rejected and left alone to suffer.
Jesus did not do that with the disciples. Every disciple had abandoned Him as He was being accused, beaten and crucified.
Later when Jesus rose from the dead and met with them, the first thing He told them was to be at peace. He was not angry with them for abandoning Him. Jesus forgave them and gave each one a chance to start over. There was no accusation or blaming done at all. They were forgiven.
You may have had a friend who has hurt you or abandoned you in your time of need. Instead of throwing accusations and judgment upon him, forgive him and make peace with him.
There may also be times you have let God down and abandoned Him. Allow Jesus to forgive you and make peace with Him. He is there to bring peace, not condemnation and judgment.
God wants you to have peace in your life with Him. Do not be afraid to meet with God after making a mistake and sinning. He is there to forgive you and restore the peace.
I pray today that you will know the peace Jesus brings; that you will go to God when you make a mistake and sin against Him; that you will not fear approaching God; and that you will make peace with those who have done wrong to you.
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36
Jesus had been arrested and was going through a trial. The leaders did not believe that He was who He said He was. They were asking Him if He was the king of the Jews. Jesus points out that His kingdom is not one of this earth, it was not a physical kingdom, but one from somewhere else.
There has been times that Christians have been known to be violent in standing up for Christ. During the middle centuries, the church went on crusades in order to kill of the believers of false religions. It was a physical effort to build God’s kingdom on this earth.
In more recent times, there have been some “Christians” who have been extremely violent against unbelievers. Some have been known for blowing up abortion centers in an attempt to stop the sin going on there. In the process people are killed and not given the chance to believe in Jesus and change.
Jesus did not use any physical violence in the process of building His kingdom. He never harmed any person, no matter how good or bad that person was. His method of building His kingdom was using love.
Love is something that is not of this world. This world is ruled by the devil, who does not believe in love other than the love of self. The world claims to show love, but it is selfishness and hate for others.
People will not be won over to Jesus, by striking them and cutting them down. They can only be won over by showing love, mercy, and grace. These are the very same things that Jesus showed you.
The kingdom of God is from heaven. It is filled with love, not violence. You do not need to use force to get people into His kingdom.
Jesus did not need physical protection, because He was in God’s hands. In the same way, you do not need physical protection. You are in God’s hands and are of a different world.
Since you are from a different world, the ways of doing things are different. Live the life of love, mercy and grace as you reach out to build God’s kingdom, not force.
I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will use God’s love to reach the lost; that you will not fight in the physical against this world; and that God will strengthen you to show His love to this world.