Getting to Peace in the Kingdom of God

Photo: edwardsaquifer.org  Aquifers are geological formations containing ground water that supplies water for wells and springs.

Photo: edwardsaquifer.org
Aquifers are geological formations containing ground water that supply water for wells and springs.

What is it like to live in the Kingdom of God?  The Kingdom of God isn’t just about having a secure place to go after we die.  Many treat it like a heavenly insurance program.  The benefit program starts here on earth.  It starts now. In Romans 14:17, Paul outlines three major benefit categories.  He writes, “The kingdom of God is…righteous and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

The order of these three components matter.  They components build on each other.  The first component achieves right standing with God.  By becoming a member of the Kingdom of God, we have asked God to consider Jesus’ innocent blood as payment for our sins.  Jesus’ choice to make this available to us for all eternity still amazes me.

From this position of right standing before God, we can access His peace.  The peace of God bypasses all logical understanding.  His peace cannot logically be explained.  It’s the gift of confidence He gives.  He guarantees that He makes all things work together for our good and His glory.  This may not seem possible by looking at our circumstances.  Yet, by the very fact that God promises this, and through the stories of other people who have weathered horrific things, we come to believe that peace is possible.  We learn that His peace will take us beyond our feelings and our interpretation of events.  We start to learn and understand His kingly priorities.  We align our priorities with His priorities. This brings a living peace.

We gain more peace by studying God’s word in scripture and letting the promises therein become God’s guarantees for us.  To name a few…

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“My righteous right hand will uphold you” Isaiah 41:10

“You will rest in safety”  Psalm 16:9

“I will be with in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him” Psalm 91:15

After peace, joy follows. Joy must not be confused with happiness.  Joy is the underlying confidence we gain from being members of the Kingdom of God.  No matter the circumstances, joy lives beneath our emotions like an aquifer level of water.  Joy lives beneath the surface of our emotional highs and lows to bring us a steady confidence of God’s commitment to redeem and to restore all things into order for those who call upon His name.

 


Establishing Hope with God’s Truth

The Cougar is comfortable and confident on the rock

The Cougar is comfortable and confident on the rock

Hope involves moving past our emotions.  We shift from being emotionally driven to truth driven.  If scripture says a thing, it can be depended upon.  For example, God promises to care for us into our old age. “Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.” (Isaiah 46:4) It can hold our weight of faith.  When an emotion gets presented with a new truth, the emotion shifts.  Emotions can bend in a new direction after a conversation, a sermon, a dream.

Feelings of anger often stem from unforgiveness. There’s a root core belief, or conclusion from circumstances, or inherited attitude or decision or vow. In inner healing, these things can be addressed. As we give these matters over to God, He replaces them with a personal promise, or tool, or verse. Moving forward becomes a matter of trusting God’s character and His word. We can trust Him for His love, His peace and His joy – even in the midst of very difficult circumstances.

When God becomes our inner strength, hope is birthed. We nurture the truth of God’s strength as our strength in the middle of our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). Likewise, His light guides us through life’s journey, day by day (Psalm 48:14).  He goes before us to establish our steps. He leads.  He guides, He supports.  All the while, He is redeeming us, cleansing us, and renewing a steadfast sprit in us (Psalm 51:10 NKJV). These facts outweigh our emotions.  After we’ve been walking awhile, it becomes easier to see.  These facts become our truth. We have our own stories of how God did these things for us.

This process develops “established hope” in us. This is God’s goal for all His children. We ask to become more like Jesus. God takes this prayer request seriously. He’s begins to build a foundation of faith. Our hope levels rise as He does His work. We partner with God by believing what He’s said and standing on His word.  Daily we build on this foundation of trusting God’s truth over our emotions.  Each day adds to the building process and our hope increases.  Over time it becomes established fait