Last week we looked at how the peace that God offers us through his Son changes how we view God and calms our soul. This week we look at one more way the peace of God changes us.
The late and great Biblical scholar John Murray said, “Peace of heart and mind proceeds from ‘peace with God’ and is the reflection in our consciousness of the relation established in his favour.” Even the most devout Christian will experience times in life when God feels far away. Though our feelings help us in many ways, they do not always send us in the right direction. While we cannot always change our emotions, and we certainly do not want to suppress them, we can condition them.
The British preacher Martyn Loyd Jones would encourage his congregation with one of the ways we can condition our emotions. He said that much of the Christian life is speaking to ourselves the great truths that God has revealed to us in the Scriptures. A classic example of this comes to us in Psalm 42, where the Psalmist asks himself, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” The Psalmist goes on to speak to himself, “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
God assures us that we can have peace with him through his Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). We can remind ourselves of this peace even when we do not feel it. Satan may try to rob us, saying, “What does God give you? What are you gaining by worshipping him? Don’t you see you are just as depressed and miserable as everyone else? Why keep on this charade? Give up that God stuff!” Yet, we can remind ourselves of what God has done for us through his Son. One of the lines of the magnificent hymn, “Before the Throne of God Above,” speaks to this, when it says, “When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see him there who made an end of all my sin.”
In the moments of your life when your soul is low, when you are not feeling the experience of peace with God, remind yourself of this great truth, “I have peace with God! Not because of what I have done or how I feel, but because of what he has done for me through his Son, Jesus Christ, whom I have received.”