This morning my text was, “Keep the heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” Now, this evening we have the promise upon which we must rest if we desire to fulfill the precept: “The peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” We shall use the figure of a fortress which is to be kept. And the promise saith that it shall be kept kept by “the peace of God which passeth all understanding through Christ Jesus.”
There is a peace of God which exists between the child of God and God his Judge, a peace which may be truly said to pass all understanding. Jesus Christ has offered so all- sufficient a satisfaction for all the claims of injured justice that now God hath no fault to find with his children.
Against the child of God conscience brings no accusation, or if it brings the accusation, it is but a gentle one a gentle chiding of a loving friend who hints that we have done amiss, and that we had better change, but doth not afterwards thunder in our ears the threat of a penalty.
Let us make it an experimental question with our own hearts: “Come, my soul, art thou at peace with God? Hast thou seen thy pardon signed and sealed with the Redeemers blood? Come, answer this, my heart; hast thou cast thy sins upon the head of Christ, and hast thou seen them all washed a way in the crimson streams of blood? Canst thou feel that now there is a lasting peace between thyself and God, so that, come what may, God shall not be angry with thee shall not condemn thee shall not consume thee in his wrath, nor crush thee in his hot displeasure?
If it be so, then, my heart, thou canst scarcely need to stop and ask the second question Is my conscience at peace? For, if my heart condemn me not, God is greater than my heart, and doth know all things; if my conscience bears witness with me, that I am a partaker of the precious grace of salvation, then happy am I! I am one of those to whom God hath given the peace which passeth all understanding. Now, why is this called “the peace of God?” We suppose it is because it comes from God because it was planned by God because God gave his Son to make the peace because God gives his Spirit to give the peace in the conscience because, indeed, it is God himself in the soul, reconciled to man, whose is the peace. And while it is true that this man shall have the peace even the Man-Christ, yet we know it is because he was the God-Christ that he was our peace. And hence we may clearly perceive how Godhead is mixed up with the peace which we enjoy with our Maker and with our conscience.
Then we are told that it is “the peace of God which passeth all understanding.” What does he mean by this? He means such a peace that the understanding can never understand it, can never attain to it. The understanding of mere carnal man can never comprehend this peace. Without Christ Jesus this peace would not exist; without Christ Jesus this peace, even where it has existed, cannot be maintained. Daily visits from the Savior, continual lookings by the eye of faith to him that bled upon the cross, continual drawings from his ever-flowing fountain, make this peace broad, and long, and enduring. But take Christ Jesus, the channel of our peace away, and it fades and dies, and droops, and comes to nought. A Christian hath no peace with God except through the atonement of his Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus we have discussed the first point, what is this peace? Now the second thing was, now Is THIS PEACE TO BE OBTAINED? You will note that although this is a promise, it hath precepts preceding, and it is only by the practice of the precepts that we can get the promise. Turn now, to the fourth verse, and you will see the first rule and regulation for getting peace. Christian, would you enjoy “the peace of God which passeth all understanding?” The first thing you have to do is to “rejoice evermore.” The man who never rejoices, but who is always sorrowing, and groaning, and crying, who forgets his God, echo forgets the fullness of Jehovah, and is always murmuring concerning the trials of the road and the infirmities of the flesh, that man will lose the prospect of enjoying a peace that passeth all understanding. Cultivate, my friends, a cheerful disposition; endeavor, as much as lieth in you, always to bear a smile about with you; recollect that this is as much a command of God as that one which says, “Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart.”
Rejoice evermore, is one of Gods commands; and it is your duty, as well as your privilege, to try and practice it. Not to rejoice, remember, is a sin. To rejoice, is a duty, and such a duty that the richest fruits and the best rewards are appended to it. Rejoice always, and then the peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds. Many of us, by giving way to disastrous doubts, spoil our peace. But keep on singing, even when the sun does not keep on shining; keep a song for all weathers; get a joy that will stand clouds and storms; and then, when you know how always to rejoice, you shall have this peace.
Keep moderation, whatsoever you do, in all things, but in your desires after God; and so shall you obey the second precept, and get the glimpse of this promise, “The peace of God shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” The last precept that you have to obey is, “be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication make known your requests unto God.” You cannot have peace unless you turn your troubles up. You have no place in which to pour your troubles except the ear of God. If you tell them to you friends, you but put your troubles out a moment, and they will return again. If you tell them to God, you put your troubles into the grave; they will never rise again when you have committed them to him. Cast your troubles where you have cast your sins; you have cast your sins into the depth of the sea, there cast your troubles also Never keep a trouble half an hour on your own mind before you tell it to God.
Now, the third thing was to show HOW THE PEACE, which I attempted to describe in the first place, KEEPS THE HEART. You will clearly see how this peace will keep the heart full. That man who has continued peace with God, will not have an empty heart. He feels that God has done so much for him that he must love his God. The eternal basis of his peace lies in divine election the solid pillars of his peace, the incarnation of Christ, his righteousness, his death the climax of his peace, the heaven hereafter where his joy and his peace shall be consummated; all these are subjects for grateful reflection, and will, when meditated upon, cause more love. Now, where much love is, there is a large heart and a full one. Keep, then, this peace with God, and thou wilt keep thy heart full to the brim. And, remember, that in proportion to the fullness of thine heart will be the fullness of thy life.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible