A summary of the Bible Hour presentation at the Christadelphian Hall, Blackpool Street, Burton-upon-Trent on Sunday 23rd May 2010.
This blog uses Bible references. If you don’t have a Bible, you can find the Bible text online.
As we get to know what God requires of us, it’s inevitable that we’re going to be saddened by how far short we fall! This might get us down, but it shouldn’t. Paul sums up the right attitude in Romans chapter 7: he laments his sinfulness and constant failings, but finally he concludes that it’s not his own merits that count but his faith in Christ. He is an abject sinner, but he has peace of mind knowing that God loves him.
How do we gain peace of mind?
All the letters in the New Testament (except Hebrews) start by wishing their readers grace and peace. This was a fundamental desire of the apostles.
Philippians 2:5 – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus …” The discussion that follows emphasises two particular qualities that we must cultivate: humility and obedience.
In John 14:20-27 Jesus is reassuring his disciples shortly before the trauma of his death. He promises the gift of the ‘Comforter’, and in particular:
they will be of one mind with Jesus and his father (v. 20)
they will be loved of God (v. 21)
Jesus and his father will dwell with them (v. 23)
they will be helped in difficult circumstances (v. 26)
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (v. 27).
Again in John 16:
God loves those who love and believe in his son (v. 27)
“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (v. 33).
Philippians 4:4-7 is an exhortation to rejoice and to live Christlike and prayerful lives: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
When things go wrong, people with faith in God know that God is in control: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.”
The example of Jesus
Did Jesus have peace of mind? He was a ‘man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’ (Isaiah 53:3); he ‘offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears’ (Hebrews 5:7); his life was short and stressful and it came to a horrible end. But yes, he had perfect peace of mind in that he was completely submissive to God’s will and had complete confidence in God.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”