This post contains the content of a pamphlet, which includes a photograph relevant to the passage, I distribute. I hope you find this post encouraging. If you would like some copies, please email me.
JESUS PREDICTED TURMOIL IN THE WORLD
Matthew 24:3-12 records Jesus’ prophesy that circumstances will become terrible as we approach the end of this age. International tensions moving us closer to nuclear war, inflation, surging crime, and moral decline exemplify those circumstances. In addition, we have personal challenges that can be “peace stealers” that generate the question:
Amid this turmoil, is there a way I can have peace?
The answer is: Yes! You can experience peace – Hebrew šālôm – in which you sense completeness, wholeness, harmony, and fulfillment. However, this unique peace can only happen through your possessing the ultimate peace with God through Jesus Christ as promised in Romans 5:1 (NLT), “1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.”
EXAMINING PSALM 4
Now, let’s look at what King David – a man who experienced peace during great turmoil – wrote in Psalm 4 (NLT).
Verse 1 (NLT) reads, “Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.” David – a man in the right relationship with God – did not hesitate to call out to God and rely on His mercy by asking God to remove his “peace stealers.”
David addresses his enemies – his “peace stealers” – in Verses 2-4 (NLT), “2 How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies? Interlude 3 You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him. 4 Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Interlude”. David had a “peace stealer”-removing confidence that God had set him apart for Himself [God] and that God would answer his prayers.
Verse 5 (NLT) reads, “Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord.” David knew that “right living” and trust in God were keys to getting rid of his “peace stealers.”
Verses 6-7 (NLT) read, “6 Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, Lord. 7 You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.” David rejoiced over God’s many blessings. Pondering the great goodness of God can cause “peace stealers” to run.
Finally, verse 8 (NLT) reads, “8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.” David appreciated that eliminating his “peace stealers” comes through accepting the biblical truth that only God could keep him safe.
EXAMINING YOUR NO. 1 “PEACE STEALER”
Please write down your No. 1 “peace stealer.:” Let’s see how God can, through Psalm 4, help eliminate your No. 1 “peace stealer.”
First, the Almighty Triune God of the Bible – the One who from the burning bush characterized Himself to Moses as “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14) – is the only One to whom you can go in prayer and expect relief from your circumstances – removal of your “peace stealers.”
Second, there is one huge – and yet very simple – condition that you must meet. You must be saved for God to give you genuine peace. David made this clear when he wrote that God had declared him innocent (v. 1) and set him apart (v. 3).
If you have never repented of your sins and trusted alone in what Jesus did for you, you need to skip to the end of this post. Then, please (1) read through “God’s Plan of Salvation” so you can understand what God did for you through His only unique Son, Jesus Christ, and (2), from the bottom of your heart pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” meaning every word. If you do, you will be reconciled to God – saved – through Jesus Christ.
Please do not make the mistake of thinking that once you become a child of God, your life will become easy when in all likelihood, it may become more difficult. God’s blessings and the difficulties of life are not mutually exclusive. Jesus told His disciples, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” John 15:18 (NLT). Always keep in mind that you have an eternal home in heaven waiting for you (John 14:2-3)
Third, now that you are a child of God, you need to begin to study the Bible, so you better know how to carry out “right living” as you increase your trust in God and your “peace stealers” fade into the background. You must diligently seek a solid Bible-believing church in which to assemble with other believers and spiritually grow. A “solid Bible-believing church” is a church that (1) teaches that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God, (2) believes in the doctrine of the Trinity, which means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and each Person is fully God, and (3) teaches that salvation is by grace through faith and not by works (e.g., water baptism by immersion).
Fourth, if you have been a believer for some time, you can better appreciate that God had you in His hand as you look back on your life. If you just “got saved,” you can rejoice in the truth that God saved you from an eternity in hell and put you on the road to an eternity in heaven.
Fifth, as a child of God, you can pray to God, knowing that he will show you His mercy and grace as He answers your prayers to eliminate your “peace stealers” in accordance with His will. Patience is necessary because His timetable may not align with yours. But, rest assured, the sovereign God of the universe loves you (Romans 5:8) and wants the best for you (Romans 8:28).
Sixth, as a child of God, you can lie down and sleep in peace, knowing God will take away your “peace stealers” and keep you safe.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION
In the beginning, God, who is holy, created the entire universe. As a part of His creative actions, He made humans in His image to know Him. For a while, everything was right between God and our ancestors, Adam and Eve. But Adam sinned, and his sin was passed down to all of humankind whereby we became separated from God. Nothing we could do on our own could bridge that separation so that without God’s intervention, hell would be our eternal destination.
Fortunately for us, in His great love and mercy God provided humankind with the only means of salvation, which is through Jesus Christ who is God’s only unique Son. While retaining His deity, God the Son became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever repent and trust in Him for their salvation. Jesus rose from the dead, showing that God the Father accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us has been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust alone in what Christ did to save us.
If we repent of our sins and completely trust in Christ alone that He died for our sins and rose to life from the dead, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.
Scripture References: Genesis 1:1, 27, 31; Habakkuk 1:13; Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-25; Genesis 3:1-7, 23-24; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:19-20, 23; 5:17-19; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 John 4:10; John 3:16-18; Mark 1:15; Romans 1:4; 4:25; John 3:5-8; 1 Peter 1:3.
Lord, Jesus Christ, the only unique Son of God, thank You for Your free gift of eternal life. I know I’m a sinner who cannot save myself no matter what I do, and I deserve to spend eternity in hell. But, I know that because You loved me so much, You voluntarily died on the cross for me taking my sins upon Yourself, and You physically bodily rose from the grave showing that Your sacrificial death was sufficient payment to give me eternal life in Heaven. I now repent of my sins and trust alone in what You did for my eternal salvation. Please take control of my life as I now receive You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You so much for saving me. I am now Yours forever! (Scripture references: John 1:1-4, 11-14; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-26; Isaiah 53:4-6; Mark 1:15; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10, 13; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 10:27-29).