Peace Beyond Understanding

David CerulloBy David Cerullo9 Minutes

You can have everything this world has to offer – money, fame, possessions. But without lasting peace, you’re like a pack mule hauling a load of burdens on your back. That’s not victorious living – that’s a life of misery!

Positive thinking is a good thing – so is honing sound habits for reducing your stress level. But if that’s all you gain from your walk with God, then you’re missing out, my friend.

There is something infinitely better than effective life management – and that’s God’s lasting peace. Without it, all the strategies in the world will do nothing but leave you immobilized, hopeless, and incapable of true transformation. You need the peace of your Lord, or you have nothing at all!

Have you ever heard the famous “Serenity Prayer,” written by Reinhold Niebuhr?

God grant me the serenity to accept
the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

It’s such a fantastic prayer. Just think about these words for a moment. There really is a difference between the things God is calling us to change and the things we have no business worrying about. God wants us to live one day at a time, one moment at a time. And the things beyond our control – He tells us to drop by the wayside as we rest in His grace.

Keep in mind: God’s peace doesn’t mean we will never have any hardships. Billy Graham said it best when he said the following:

The storm was raging. The sea was beating against the rocks in huge, dashing waves. The lightning was flashing, the thunder was roaring, the wind was blowing, but the little bird was sound asleep in the crevice of the rock, its head tucked serenely under its wing. That is peace – to be able to sleep in the storm!

The message of the Gospel isn’t about escaping our circumstances – it’s about trust. And the One person we can rely on is Jesus, who says:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

So you see, HE is the safe place in the cleft of the rock. As King Solomon observed, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). No matter what storms are swirling around you today, you can always find safety and rest when you surrender everything to Him.

Intimacy Is Key

The Bible says you can experience peace with God because you’ve been “justified by faith” (Romans 5:1). Because of what Jesus did on the cross for you, you can live in the reality of His supernatural peace, which occurs regardless of circumstances and is beyond our understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Maybe you find this puzzling. “I got saved years ago, and I know my sins are forgiven,” you protest. “But I’m still stressed out all the time. What am I doing wrong?”

Here’s the critical truth of it all, and you need to hear this with both your ears and heart: To experience the fullness of God’s peace, you have to discover the secret place of intimacy with the Lord. You need to rest in the holy presence of your Father, so you can uncover the beauty and splendor of His joy and love.

In Psalm 91, the psalmist describes this amazing place and some of the benefits you’ll find when you learn to abide there: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust’” (vs. 1-2).

Amid the storms of life, God wants to be your place of safety – your refuge and fortress. But this doesn’t happen automatically. You must make a concerted effort to draw near to Him each day.

The psalmist goes on to describe the snares, pestilence, disease, and destruction that may be taking place all around, yet “you shall not be afraid” (v. 5). Think what a wonderful promise this is: a life without fear! Your Heavenly Father wants that to be your experience.

When the Lord is your refuge and dwelling place, you can walk boldly and confidently through life. When you face the devil’s lies, you can reject them, for God’s “truth shall be your shield and buckler” (v. 4). The Lord will protect you from harm and “give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways” (v. 11).

The psalmist paints a vivid picture of living safely in God’s favor even when chaos and confusion are all around: “A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you” (v. 7). When we love the Lord and learn to call on His name, He promises to be with us in times of trouble, to deliver us, and honor us (vs. 14-15).

And at the conclusion of this psalm, God promises the person who has entered His secret place, “With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation” (v. 16).

What a beautiful thing! As soon as you surrender your life to Christ as your Lord and Savior, God’s peace and rest take over and begin to change you … heart, mind, and soul.

The more you learn to abide in His secret place, the more this peace will grow, with enormous rewards throughout your life. And then God promises to satisfy you, not only with a “long life” on this earth but also with an incredible life with Him throughout eternity.

Take a moment to thank the Lord and give Him praise for the amazing rewards of that promise. You may also want to read Psalm 91 from beginning to end, meditating on what God has promised you when you abide in Him. No matter what is happening around you, you can experience God’s peace and live a life without fear!

Your friend and partner to reach the lost,

David Sig

David Cerullo