IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES
TOPIC: GREAT PEACE HAVE THEY WHICH LOVE THY LAW
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” Ps. 119:165
God’s law comprises all his precepts, and in keeping these we have peace of conscience; it contains all his promises, and these are our great peace in the hour of need; and it comprehends all those great doctrines which surround the cross of Christ and the covenant of grace, and each one of these is a fountain of peace to our hearts. We take this Book as a whole, and in this way we have peace. We dare not rend it, we would not leave out any part of it, lest we miss the blessed effect which, as a whole, it is calculated to produce. Sitting as learners at the feet of Jesus, our Master, submitting our hearts and minds to the infallible teaching of the Holy Ghost, who leads us into all truth, we find that the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keeps our hearts and minds by Christ Jesus.
The Lord is the only true source of peace and deliverance for eternity and for daily experience.
“Great peace have they which love thy law….”
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
“If God has spoken, listen! If God has recorded his words in a Book, search its pages with a believing heart. If you do not accept it as God’s inspired word, I cannot invite you to pay any particular attention to it; but if you regard it as the Book of God, I charge you, as I shall meet you at the judgement seat of Christ, study the Bible daily. Treat not the Eternal God with disrespect, but delight in His Word.”
Yes, a true love for the great Book will bring us great peace from the great God, and be a great protection to us. Let us live constantly in the society of the law of the Lord, and it will breed in our hearts a restfulness such as nothing else can. The Holy Spirit acts as a Comforter through the Word, and sheds abroad those benign influences which calm the tempests of the soul.
Nothing is a stumblingblock to the man who has the Word of God dwelling in him richly. He takes up his daily cross and it becomes a delight. For the fiery trial he is prepared, and counts it not strange, so as to be utterly cast down by it. He is neither stumbled by prosperity, as so many are, nor crushed by adversity, as others have been; for he lives beyond the changing circumstances of external life. When his Lord puts before him some great mystery of the faith which makes others cry, “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” the believer accepts it without question; for his intellectual difficulties are overcome by his reverent awe of the law of the Lord, which is to him the supreme authority to which he joyfully bows. Lord, work in us this love, this peace, this rest, this day.
Frightened children look for their parents, because they trust mommy and daddy to shield them from danger. When it comes to the circumstances of this life look to God the Father, not to the raging waves and winds of today. Look to God the Father above all others because He is worthy of your trust. He will not fail you. Quoting Spurgeon yet again: “To be destitute in circumstances is bad, but to be destitute in soul is far worse; to be left of friends is a calamity, but to be left of God would be destruction. The comfort is that God hath said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
Are you a witness for the Lord, and are you just now in danger? Then remember that you are immortal till your work is done. If the Lord has more witness for you to bear, you will live to bear it. Who is he that can break the vessel which the Lord intends again to use?
If there is no more work for you to do for your Master, it cannot distress you that He is about to take you home, and put you where you will be beyond the reach of adversaries. Your witness-bearing for Jesus is your chief concern, and you cannot be stopped in it till it is finished: therefore be at peace. Cruel slander, wicked misrepresentation, desertion of friends, betrayal by the most trusted one, and whatever else may come, cannot hinder the Lord’s purpose concerning you. The Lord stands by you in the night of your sorrow, and He says, “Thou must yet bear witness for me.” Be calm, be filled with joy in the Lord.
PEACE IN THE STORM!
One time there was a king who commissioned the artists and the painters in the land to paint a portrait of peace. He wanted to understand their vision of what peace looked like. There were many different drawings, there were many different paintings that were presented to the king for his approval. He didn’t really like any of them, except for two.
One of them was a painting of a very calm and placid lake. It was as clear as crystal, you could see the reflection of this vast mountain range there in the lake, blue skies with clouds above. All of this was in that painting, and it was a very beautiful painting; and everyone thought, “Surely, this is the painting that the king will choose.” He loved the painting, but there was another painting that he liked more.
This painting was also a painting of a mountain, but it was a sharp, rugged, craggy mountain. Overhead there was a stormy, threatening sky with lightning bolts, and coming off the mountain was a roaring waterfall. But if you looked really closely, behind the waterfall, in a little crack in the rock, there was a nest. There was a bird in the nest, peacefully tending to her nest, even in this stormy, threatening terrain around her.
That’s the picture that the king chose, because, he said, “Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise or trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.
This is the real meaning of peace.”
Well, that’s the idea of peace that we get in Scripture. We have tribulation in the world, we have trials, we have troubles, and yet we can still have peace. We can have peace that transcends circumstances.
The third thing to say about peace as we understand it in Scripture is that the biblical vision of peace is the vision of full flourishing in every way. It’s the vision of harmony in all relationships and in all dimensions of our being. This would include the vertical dimension, peace with God, so that our relationship with God is characterized by peace. But it also would include peace with people on the horizontal plain, that we are living at peace with others.
It also would include what we might call cosmic peace. The Scripture talk about this cosmic reconciliation between things that are of heaven and things that are on earth, when Christ will bring peace to the world in all fullness. This is something for which we wait.
The Hebrew word for peace is the word shalom, and theologians Neil Plantinga has defined shalom in this way, as “the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight. We call it peace,” he says, “but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a ceasefire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.”
In fact, this is the way God originally created the world. He created the world to be a garden of delights, the very idea of Eden. It was a place of shalom, it was a place of peace, of flourishing. It was the garden, the world which we were created for. But something has interrupted that peace. Sin has disrupted that peace in the world. Sin is this force of disruption that brings a breach in all of those relationships, a breach in our relationship with God, the vertical relationship; a breach in the horizontal relationships, our relationships with other people; and even in the very fabric of creation itself, so that there is now disease and disorder and decay and death. All of this is because of the interruption of peace, the breaking down of God’s shalom.
I love the words of that old hymn-writer William Gadsby.
“Peace of conscience, peace with God
We obtain through Jesus’ blood.
Jesus’ blood speaks solid rest;
We believe, and we are blessed.”
Peace with God comes through the blood of Christ, it comes through the gospel. In fact, the gospel is called the gospel of peace in Romans 10. The gospel of peace, the glad tidings of good things.
Spurgeon said that “peace is the juice, the essence, and the soul of the gospel.” The only way that we get this peace, peace with God—that is, harmony in our relationship with God, open access to God, being welcomed into the family of God—the only way we get it is through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul says in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Beloved, what a peace the love of the Word brings to the heart! All hearts require an object of love. How many hearts have been broken because the thing beloved has disappointed them, and proved false to their hopes! But when you love God’s Word, your love is not wasted upon an unworthy object. It introduces you to Christ, and you love him intensely, and however much you yield your heart to him, you are always safe. Jesus is never a Judas to his friends. Jesus cannot be loved too well, and hence the heart has great peace when it comes to him.
As for you who love not God’s law, who know nothing of Jesus, because you have never submitted to the law of faith— there is no “great peace” for you. There may be the deceptive cry of, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace”; but may the Lord save you from it! Soul, there is no hope for thee, thou canst not rest till thou art at one with God. As surely as God made thee, thou must yield to thy Maker, and accept thy Redeemer, and be renewed by his Holy Spirit, or thou art lost for ever. I pray God the Holy Ghost lead thee to accept what God has revealed, and bow thyself to the supreme majesty of his Word, especially to the power and grace of the Incarnate Word, the Lord Christ Jesus; then wilt thou have great peace for this world and the next. God bless you, beloved, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
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