Peace in Pain

(Sunday Sermon - Aug 27, 2023)

Promise Verse: God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.2 Corinthians 5:21

Four kinds of Righteousness:

  • My Righteousness: (Psalm 112:3)  Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.
  • Righteousness by Faith: (Gen 15:6)  Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
    • It was so with Noah, Abel, Phinehas.
    • It shall be done according to your faith.
  • Righteousness by the Law: (Deu 6:25)  And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.
  • God’s Righteousness: (2 Corinthians 5:21)  God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

  Peace is not the absence of trouble in your life. It is possible to be in the biggest crisis of your life and still be at peace. This is the peace that surpasses all understanding.

World’s Portrayal: The world defines peace as what is happening in the sensory realm. The world would look at peace as something like this: A man lying on a white sandy beach playing soft music among the lush wind of the coconut trees. The world calls it peace until reality strikes in that the trascient peace that was experienced dissipates into thin air.

Dear friend, you cannot depend on the external circumstances for the peace within you. With Jesus, peace works from inside out and not outside in.

Art competition: I remember reading about an art competition where the artists were given the topic “Peace”. The artists gathered their paints, brushes and started creating their masterpieces. One drew a scenery with mountains and rivers flowing in the midst and a man sitting serene in the midst of it. Another had sketched a lush paddy field flowing with water and a man enjoying the sight. While the judges were happy looking at these serene pictures, one picture caught their attention.

There was a rough sea releasing its waves into the shore. It was horrific and turmoil to look at. The judges were impressed by the caricature of the storm. There was lightning from the sky that had hit a tree nearby. How could this picture be an epitome of peace?

Yet the judges unanimously awarded the first prize to this picture. While the results were initially confusing, when they saw the picture closely, in a little crevice on the cliff a group of little eagles were spotted. The mother eagle faces the blustering winds while the little ones are oblivious of things happening around.

Now, that’s the kind of peace that Jesus gives to you and me! He gives us peace,

security, covering and protection even in the midst of a storm. The psalmist describes this beautifully: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.”

Jesus gives us peace, security, covering and protection even in the midst of a storm.

There is no other place like the shelter of our saviour in this world. It does not matter what circumstances may be raging around you. 

(Psalm 57:1 NIV)  Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

We can cry like David to the Lord in times of trouble. Lord, I have come to you for help and refuge. What blessed assurance we have under our saviour’s wings where no evil can touch you. 

song: en pathram- vikinangal kadakkum.

Begin with Jesus: It is a good meeting with the families of our church. children say they spend 30-60 minutes a day with the Lord. Mothers testify early morning seeking. One father said ‘my wife does it for me’. If your wife eats, can you say my hunger pangs are gone. Some husbands said ‘when I go to work, I pray’.

What did Jesus say? (Isaiah 54:17 NIV)  No weapon forged against you will prevail…

God didn’t promise you that weapons will not be formed against you. He said even if weapons are formed against you, it will not hurt you or defeat you.

There are all kinds of weapons formed against humanity. Think about the deadly viruses. ie. Young patients gasping for breath cos of corona virus. Oxygen supply is given and the patient dies. It is given to another. Praise God that He wanted you and me to live for Him. Loss of jobs, unemployment, violence, crashing stock markets, bankruptcy etc.

I am not against reading the newspaper. But first meet with God. But I want to encourage you to start your day with Jesus instead, practising His presence, acknowledging Him, committing your plans to Him and trusting Him for His unmerited favour, wisdom and strength for the day. Remember to be like Joseph in the Bible. The Lord was with Joseph and he was a successful man! Your success does not come as a result of you being updated about the latest virus or you being cued into the latest disaster. No, your success will come as a result of your being tuned in to the presence of Jesus in your life!

(Gen 39:2 NIV)  The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.

The last thing that you do before you go to bed is to think about Jesus. Think about the promises that He has given us in the Bible. 

(Isaiah 54:17 NIV)  No weapon forged against you will prevail…

Start the day and end your day with Jesus.

(Psalm 127:2 NIV)  In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.

The bread of the world is the bread of sorrows but Jesus is the bread of life. When you feed on Him you will be nourished physically, mentally and spiritually. The bread of the world only depletes you of your strength and worries into life.

Guard your Eyes and Ears: There are financial experts who speak in the news channels. One says that things will be okay this year. The other expert says things are going to be bleak. In the tea stall your outlook of life begins in the morning. Filling it will be the knowledge of good and evil. What did that knowledge do for me? Nothing.

Feed on Jesus. Walk closely with Jesus. There is peace, joy, and unexpected favour with Him. Be watchful of what you watch and hear with your ears. It is all about beholding Jesus.

(Psalm 16:8 NIV)  I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him in my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Jesus the Shalom: Ask yourself a question “Is my heart troubled?” If the blood pressure is high, doctors tell you to take less salt. This affects your heart. But stress is the reason for many deaths. I believe the number one killer of people is stress.

(John 14:27 NIV)  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Shalom I give you. It refers to completeness, contentment, tranquillity,

This Scripture tells us that when you begin to have a revelation that God loves you

perfectly (not because of what you have accomplished, but because of what Jesus has

accomplished for you), that revelation of the unmerited favour of Jesus will cast out every fear, every lie, every anxiety, every doubt and every worry that God is against you. The more you have a revelation of Jesus and how He has made you perfect, the more you will free yourself to receive His complete shalom and succeed in life!

(Isaiah 54:10 NIV)  Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.