What Does Peace Look Like?

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Hebrews 12:5-14


I.         A prize was once offered to an artist who best depicted the concept of peace

            A.        One image was of a calm lake perfectly mirroring the distant mountains. Overhead was a blue sky with puffy white clouds.

            B.        Another picture was of rugged, bare mountains with foaming waterfall tumbling down it side. Above were dark, stormy clouds with lightening.

                        1.         But if you looked closely, in a bush by the waterfall, a bird had built her nest and the mother bird was sitting contently on the nest in the midst of the waterfall and storm.

            C.        It was the second picture that won, Peace is being calm in your heart in the midst of the chaos of life.

II.        A peaceful life

            A.        We are to pray for a tranquil life - I Timothy 2:1-2

                        1.         But that doesn’t mean the world will change to stop bothering us. We are to find peace despite the world

                        2.         It has to come from within us - Psalms 131:1-2

            B.        We attempt to live at peace with people - Romans 12:18

                        1.         Though there will always be people who won’t return the favor

                        2.         We learn to make peace - James 3:18

            C.        We learn to live in peace - II Corinthians 13:11

III.       Finding peace

            A.        Pursue peace and sanctification because without these we won’t see God - Hebrews 12:14

            B.        Peace requires effort - Romans 14:19

            C.        If we desire a good life, we have to seek and pursue peace - I Peter 3:10-12

                        1.         How? Peter mentions it earlier - I Peter 3:8-9

                                    a.         Harmony - Working together

                                    b.         Sympathetic - Being able to see things from another’s point of view

                                    c.         Brotherly - Seeing your connection to those around you

                                    d.         Kindhearted - Being nice

                                    e.         Humble - Not putting yourself first

                        2.         It has to be our ambition - I Thessalonians 4:11

            D.        Peace is a consequence of living by God’s laws - Galatians 5:22-23

            E.        When problems arise, take them to God - Philippians 4:4-7

IV.      There is a beautiful song that we sing: “It Is Well with My Soul”

            A.        The author, Horatio Spafford, was a successful lawyer and businessman who lived in Chicago but in 1871, he lost his real estate investments in the Great Chicago Fire. Shortly before the fire, his only son had died at a young age. 1n 1873, he, his wife, and his four daughters were heading to Europe but at the last minute, he had to stay in Chicago to deal with business. He sent his family ahead and promised to meet up with them a few days later. As the ship with his family crossed the Atlantic, it crashed into another vessel and rapidly sank in less than 12 minutes. Very few survived. Spafford received a telegram a few days later from his wife that read, “Saved alone.”

            B.        The grieving father journey across the sea to be with his bereaving wife and during his journey he wrote this song “When sorrows like sea billows roll ... Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well with my soul.”

            C.        Paul also learned the same lesson - Philippians 4:11-13

            D.        I can make it knowing Christ is there

V.        Christ came to bring peace - Luke 1:78-79

            A.        Peace isn’t found in the world. It is found in a mind set on spiritual values - Romans 8:6

            B.        So fix your eyes on the Savior - Hebrews 12:1-3

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