New Hope Notes
Pastor Jon Burgess
Today’s Life Hacks, “Simple Spirit-Led Solutions To Everyday Struggles,” is Peace, a characteristic ofthe fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Peace is very important in our lives because when it is not present, we get overwhelmed with the pressures of life, then panic sets in, we make wrong decisions, and the situation gets worse!
Peace comes supernaturally not naturally. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
The apostle Paul is saying that in order to experience God’s peace, first tell Him what you need, THEN, thank Him for what He has done. Peace is conditional; it doesn’t come automatically. So if chaos is present and peace is missing, could it be that the missing piece to your missing peace is prayer? Invite the Prince of Peace into your mess, understanding that…
1. Peace Is A Person, Not A Place.
Before a single thing is resolved at home, work, in your finances or health, God says you can experience peace when you know the Prince of Peace—He is a person, not a place.
John 14:25-27 NIV says, “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind youof everything I have said to you. 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.”
The words “troubled” and “afraid” in the Greek is literally the pounding or palpitation of the heart beating out of your chest because you are so stressed, afraid, and worried. Jesus is making a great contrast here between the peace that God gives and the peace that the world gives. God’s peace is relational, not conditional or circumstantial.
The peace that the world gives is entirely circumstantial. It relies on what you planned—are your plans going exactly as you had hoped it would? It never does. The peace that the world gives is outward; it’s fleeting and demands a high price. The peace that God gives is inward; it’s free and constant because Jesus paid for it at Calvary! If you aren’t walking in the peace of God, the people you interact with on a daily basis will never see Him or experience His peace. The peace of God can be extended to others!
2. PEACE IS POWERFUL, NOT PUNY.
Peace (Holy Spirit inside) is a powerful force; it is not puny. We can literally change the atmosphere of a chaotic situation that causes panic and stress by accessing the life hack of the fruit of the Spirit—the peace of God. God has put certain people in your life so you can pray for an invasion of God’s peace in their situation. You don’t have to solve the problem, He will. Your job is to pray peace over them with the authority of the Name of Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 3:16-18 NASB says, “Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. [When God is in the room, He changes the atmosphere.] The Lord be with you all! I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, and this is a distinguishing mark in every letter; this is the way I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”
Peace is the punctuation of a period on a life of prayer, not a question mark! Everywhere you go in any circumstance, however tragic or stressful, enter in with a punctuation of peace because you are walking with the Prince of Peace Himself. Let that sink in. Invite the Prince of Peace to invade every situation that you experience. Prayer is a common solution to uncommon problems.
The natural mind cannot understand how praying to God can change a situation (scripture says “peace that passes understanding.”) It’s an invitation for God’s supernatural to invade our natural and change the very nature of our response to a situation.
If the Lord Jesus Christ is your Savior, then you have the same spirit and authority that the apostle Paul and the disciples had. You can speak peace over any situation and bring the presence of the Prince of Peace into it. Remember, peace is not a place, it’s a person and the chaotic situation will change! Therefore, if you’re facing surgery, court, etc. and everyone is panicking around you, you can walk with the Prince of Peace; He will never leave your side. Let the supernatural invade your natural!
3. PEACE IS PURPOSEFUL, NOT PASSIVE.
Matthew 5:1-2, 9 NKJV says, “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying…’Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.’”
There is a huge difference between a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. Peacekeepers just try to keep everyone happy; but the peacemakers are blessed because “they shall be called the sons of God.” Knowing that peace is a person (Jesus Christ) and not a place, we enter into a powerful relationship with Him and change everything with a different set of authority! We have access to God 24/7 no matter what is going on around us.
As a peacemaker, you can walk into a chaotic situation and change the environment because you are under a different set of authority! Genesis 1:2-3 says, “The earth was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep… And God said, ‘Let there be light and there was light.’” You are not looking to keep the peace; you are looking to bring peace (the Prince of Peace) and speak peace over that situation. It’s purposeful, not passive.
Plan in advance to not walk in fear but to respond in prayer and see what God wants to do. Invite Him to invade that chaotic situation. Jesus confronted the very gates of hell by taking on our skin, sin and shame! A peacemaker is purposeful. If we are passive and we allow things to stay the same, then we are missing out on the very thing that God gave us the authority to walk in—to change the atmosphere! As peacemakers, we will not just talk about peace; we will walk in peace.
Many people do not have peace because their problems seem insurmountable; they feel they just can’t go on and the lie of ending their life promises them peace. If that is you, God wants His peace to invade your fear and pain. He wants to remind you that He truly loves you, that no matter how hopeless the situation or how impossible the circumstance are that’s facing you, God is bigger. He wants to change your life right NOW!
Suicide is the tenth largest cause of death in Hawaii (in one of the most beautiful places in the world) where every two days someone takes his/her life. The suicide rate among veterans is well above the national average, roughly 22 vets every day. The elderly are more likely to take their own life because of depression and is the reason the assisted suicide bill almost passed during the last legislative session. It is a dangerously vile bill and we must speak up when it returns for a vote.
Sometimes it’s not obvious to us who is thinking of suicide, so as peacemakers we must walk with eyes wide open (no blinders) and ask God to give us eyes to see and ears to hear who needs His peace. He has given us the power and authority to walk with the Peacemaker Jesus Christ to change someone’s life with peace!
In order to be a peacemaker, you must first meet the Peacemaker Jesus Christ.