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2nd Step Towards PEACE

STEP 2 TOWARDS PEACE

Step 1 was to trust Christ as Savior. Many newly born again Christians will testify how they were filled with profound joy and peace as they had never known the moment they trusted Christ as Savior.

However, it is possible not to have peace as a Christian. The Apostle Paul is so great a Christian, that apart from Christ, Paul is the only Christian I know of who is specifically called an EXAMPLE for Christians to copy (a typos). Yet Paul confesses in 2 Corinthians 2 that at one point in his Christian life he did not have peace (as is also indicated in Romans 7):

8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;

Now when I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ and when a door was opened for me in the Lord, I HAD NO REST for my spirit, not finding Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I went on to Macedonia. But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

5 For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within.
6 But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus."

So Romans 5:1, as best read, tells us: "Therefore, being justified by faith, let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Towards the end of peace in our lives, we are instructed to cast all our care upon the Lord who cares for us. And we also know that anxiety is a sin to be confessed. Being anxious indicates that we have overvalued something besides the Lord and believed that something, an object or a goal in life, is too important. We are admonished over and over to "Be not afraid." A major key to peace is to stop regarding that object or goal as so important.

Philippians 4 tells the Christian:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.

COMMENTS ON PHILIP 4

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!"

We may not be able to rejoice in our worldly circumstances, but as Christians we know that all things work together for good, and that nothing can interfere with our fellowship with the Lord aside from sin and failing to trust the Lord.

"5 Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near."

Our Lord is near both in space and time. Right now in the room we sit in, He is right there with us, loving us and seeking our best at all times. Also, both our death and the rapture could happen at any time. It will not be long, and we shall be with the Lord, with all tears wiped away, and nothing but bliss.

"6 Be anxious for nothing,"

Thus, when we are anxious, we will confess it as a sin. We have failed to trust the Lord, and like Peter when he was walking on the water, we have started focusing upon the wind and waves, instead of the Lord.

Now being anxious is not the same thing as gearing up for a fight. We have been called to a fight in life. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against prinicipalities and powers. We should not feel guilty just because our sympathetic nervous system is geared up for a fight.

"but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

So, we pray to the Lord and thank Him in advance for the outcome. We don't always know how things will pan out, but we trust Him for the outcome.

"7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Now there is a blessed promise.

"8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things."

Positive thinking is required. In fact, we sin when we stop singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord (Ephesians 5).

"9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you."

General imitation of Paul in his life is a requirement also. 2 Corinthians 12 is a recommended starting point.

PEACE & ANXIETY

Those are good verses.

The ungodly shrink, Albert Ellis, whose theory is called "Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy" is largely correct, in my opinion, and is also largely consistent with scripture. He wrote a book entitled something like: "How to let absolutely nothing upset you."

Painful emotions are often the result of false beliefs and must-thinking. For example, if someone cut our tires with Z's (for Zorro), we might well be angry. However, if a crazy TV program had said that the recipient of the $4,000,000 Zorro prize would be notified by having his tires slashed, we might be happy about the tires being slashed, even over-joyed.

So we see that it is not what happens to us which is altogether responsible for our painful emotions, but our beliefs about what is done to us.

CPNE anxiety a very real and very common phenomenon. But it is not the exam itself which causes the anxiety really; it is our beliefs about the exam. We believe that we MUST pass. We have made a rule for ourselves that we shall be crushed if we fail it. If we change our beliefs in a certain way, we will only have disappointment, and not grief if we fail. If we change our beliefs about the CPNE, we shall still get up for the test, we shall still focus on the task, our BP may rise a little, but we will not have debilitating extreme anxiety.

To avoid extreme anxiety, it is necessary to believe that it will not be the end of the world if we don't pass; we will still be able to have an enjoyable life is we don't pass. It will be great to pass and sad to fail, but neither Heaven on the one hand, nor Hell on the other.

The correct belief, which lowers the anxiety, is that the Lord is in control. Whatever He chooses to bring to pass is for the best. And whatever He chooses will be the best for Jane Q. Christian or whomever.