Candy blogs: One night this week we went to campmeeting. We enjoyed beautiful worship and heard a message from Dr. Jim Diehl, a loved and respected figure in our denomination. His message was about peace; I loved his perspective. He based his talk on the words Jesus spoke on several occasions after His ressurection … peace to you … and then shared stories from his own life when the peace of God was especially poignant and how it led to his seeking God’s peace above all other things offered to us.
Since then I’ve been thinking about peace and when I’ve been the most aware of it in my life. In Dr. Diehl’s story he took us to the time of his salvation, the time of his sanctification and the time of his greatest sorrow. When I was in high school my dad “made” us memorize Scripture.
One of the first verses I memorized was Isaiah 26:3:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
I memorized it in the King James version and I like it best. This is the verse that comes to mind whenever my peace is threatened. As a 16 year old, I grabbed hold of this verse. I had found peace and this verse told me how to keep it.
In Beth Moore’s teaching on peace, she says that peace rules. It is a conscious bowing of my will to God’s will and purposes for my life and to let God rule no matter the circumstances. I can bow to His rule if I trust God completely, knowing He always works for my benefit. So this verse is saying I will be at peace if I am actively seeking God’s will for me and, when it is revealed, to trust in it apart from life’s circumstances.
Peace … at Salvation
(you’ll get a kick out of this if you click on this link) Candy childhood testimony
I got “saved” many times as a child. LOL! But when my preacher grandpa once asked me at age 8 if I would go to the alter so the other children wouldn’t be afraid to go, I told him I didn’t need to. I was already saved. I had peace that my sins had been washed away and I was going to heaven. The peace and assurance of my salvation has never left me. I don’t doubt or question it.
Peace … at Sanctification
Don’t let that word sanctification scare or offend you. It’s just an old fashioned word that, in very simple terms, means I made a decision to live my life full on for Jesus Christ. I was saved but I allowed my carnal nature to control my speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.
Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. I Timothy 4:12
When I was 16 I remember lying in bed one summer night at my grandparents’ home. I was thinking about my relationship with Jesus and why it always seemed to be so “hard”. Suddenly all the sins I could remember came flooding into my mind. It was ugly to me. I wanted to live my life with spiritual power and confidence and be guided by the Holy Spirit. I decided that night that I would stop fighting God and His ways. And when I did that, a new and deeper peace settled over me.
My pastor’s wife later helped me realize that this was my sanctification experience. People call it different things. I don’t really care what you call it. I didn’t get “more” of God; I got all of Him when I was saved. But I did give him control of my life. Before this experience I took one step forward spiritually and two steps back. Since then I continue in forward motion spiritually. I don’t live perfectly. I have known discouragement and suffering. I have made poor choices. I’ve been immature. But my peace remains. My motives and intentions are pure.
Peace … in life’s deepest Sorrows
Some of my deepest sorrows have been the loss of dear loved ones, some have been the grieving of lost friendships, some have been watching those I love suffer. Some of my deepest sorrows involve other people and it isn’t my place to share their stories. But I have known deep personal suffering in our marriage and in our family. In these times when I have no say, no control, no answers, my heart and mind still know that my God will keep me in perfect peace if my mind is stayed on Him, because I trust in Him. He is only good. He is trustworthy. He is always at work for my benefit. And I can trust Him completely with those I love. God has a separate plan for them. My peace remains, apart from circumstances.
There is nothing this life can throw at you that can drive away the peace that passes understanding. If you will bow to God’s rule. Peace rules.
“Peace doesn’t come with the answer. It comes with the authority.” Beth Moore
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Colossians 3:15
Thank you, Dr. Diehl, for making me think again about the beautiful gift of God’s peace.
Peace to you. ~Jesus Christ