A number of years ago the sponsors of an art contest asked each participant to think of the word “peace” and paint a picture that best depicted their idea of peace.
Heaven's Gift of Peace
By Mark A. Finley
A number of years ago the sponsors of an art contest asked each participant to think of the word “peace” and paint a picture that best depicted their idea of peace. The artists painted tranquil ponds, picturesque landscapes, winding forest trails, and beautiful flower-filled fields.
The painting that won the contest may surprise you. The artist pictured a turbulent seascape with raging waves, dark clouds on the horizon, and strong, gusty winds. In the center of the painting one beam of light burst through the clouds, focusing on a lone white sea gull delightfully gliding above the waves. The piece was simply titled, “Peace Above the Storm.”
Have you discovered a personal peace that can take you through the storms of life? What is peace? Where can we find it? Is it possible to have peaceful hearts when everything around us is filled with conflict and turmoil? In this month’s lesson we will discover how to have lasting peace, now and forever.
1. Read John 14:27. What promise did Jesus give to His disciples just before His crucifixion?
2. Who is the source of our peace? Where does lasting peace originate? Read 2 Thessalonians 3:16.
Peace is not a state of mind that we somehow enter by coming into harmony with some mystical power in the universe. We do not achieve it by tapping into some inner calm. Peace is a gift that we receive by faith as we enter a living relationship with God, who is the source of all peace.
3. What is peace? Is it the absence of trouble? Is it freedom from trials and tribulation? Read John 16:33.
Peace is a gift from God that leads to a state of internal calm in spite of external circumstances. It comes from the certainty that Someone greater than we is guiding our lives, and that no matter what we experience, ultimately He will set all things right.
4. What destroys our peace? Compare these two Bible passages to compose your answer: Isaiah 59:1, 2 and Isaiah 57:20, 21.
Peace comes as we are in harmony with God. Sin disturbs that harmony and destroys our peace. A lack of faith in the God who is bigger than our problems and greater than our difficulties can also destroy our peace. Worry is a natural response to challenging circumstances around us. We all experience it at times, but perpetual anxiety resulting from guilt is a burden we need not carry.
5. What relationship does justification by faith have with our personal peace? Read Romans 5:1-5 and write the answer in your own words.
6. How can we experience the peace that Christ freely offers? Discover the answer in Isaiah 26:3 and Romans 15:13.
Heaven’s peace flows into our lives as our minds are fixed on God. As an old preacher once said, “The more I look at trouble, the more the trouble grows. The more I look at Jesus, the more the trouble goes.” Grasping God’s peace by faith, regardless of life’s circumstances, opens our hearts to receive Heaven’s priceless gift.
7. Read Isaiah 9:6. What is one of the titles that the prophet Isaiah gives to Jesus?
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. In His life, death, and resurrection He defeated the powers of hell and triumphed over the forces of evil. One day soon the Prince of Peace will return, and our hearts will find rest and peace with Him forever.
Until we see Jesus return in the clouds of heaven, we rest peacefully in His love.