With so many events happening around us, how are we going to have peace, peace which transcends all understanding? When we look at the different circumstances which we are facing, how are we going to have faith? We are faced with many challenges and uncertainties. We do not know when things are going to get better. Has your faith been shaken? Do you have inner peace despite of the “troubles” which you see around you? Where is your Anchor, your Bearing and your Compass? In this pastoral perspective, I hope to point us to a certain assurance which we have regarding faith and then discover who is the one who gives peace.
“Faith and Peace”: To receive peace, you need to exercise faith!” When God’s Word says, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (see Romans 5:1), do you believe what God says in His Word? When you actively believe with the desire to commit to what you believe, that is the beginning of the exercise of faith. When you act upon that belief, you are exercising faith, faith in God and in Christ.
What is faith? The Bible, God’s Word, teaches that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (see Hebrews 11:1). It also mentions that “Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (see Hebrews 11:6). Faith is believing in what God has said in His Word. What God has promised, He will surely bring it to pass. He will fulfil it because He is a faithful God. Without the operation of faith, we will not have a real, complete peace. Where can you find real peace in this world? Hear what our Lord Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” What is “tribulation”? In another Bible translation, it is written as: “In this world you will have trouble.” The word, “tribulation”, means “A cause or a state of great trouble or suffering.” In Romans 5:1, we know that faith in Christ enables us to be justified before God and hence, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, faith is a vital component (virtue) which bridges our relationship with God.
What is peace? Peace is not the absence of trouble but the presence of God. When you know that God is with you, you have the assurance that He will take care of you because He knows you, loves you and motivates you. Having peace is also having the acceptance and the approval of God who puts you and I in a right, pleasing relationship with Him through His beloved Son Jesus Christ. When Christ Jesus was on earth with His disciples, when He observed that they were troubled and afraid, He assured them with these precious, comforting words: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (see John 14:27). Having peace is something which we all desire to acquire. When you are in a right relationship with God, you will be calm, confident and courageous in approaching God to commune with Him and confide in Him. When there are unconfessed sins in your life, your fellowship with God is broken. At that very moment, you will lack that kind of peace which surpasses all understanding. (see Philippians 4:7). At this juncture, you need to repent from your sins and come before God with confession so that your fellowship with God can be restored. Once you are restored, the wonderful peace of God will overflow in your life. Faith in Christ is renewed and peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ is restored.
Faith and peace go hand in hand. When you have faith, you will receive peace. Having peace with God leads you to having peace with yourself and with others. When you allow God to work in your life in a beautiful manner, you will become a sweet fragrance for Him and in His sight. People will sense the peace of Christ in you that they will yearn to have that kind of peace which you have that they do not have. This reminds me of a song which I have learnt when I was young: “I Have Peace Like A River.” In this Bible verse, Isaiah 26:3, it states, “You keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Basically, “trust” is the evidence of “faith”. When you place your faith in Christ, you are having that confident trust in Him who saves you from your sins and shame and who graciously gives you eternal life. When your mind is stayed on God, you will not be afraid or frightened or troubled, but you will be assured that God will grant you perfect peace. May our hearts be strengthened as we anchor our hope in Christ!
Let us continue to cultivate faith and peace in our daily walk with God, relying upon His astounding grace and His immense goodness. Amen.
Preacher George Ang
May 30, 2021