The Word of God Brings Peace

We have come to the final post in a series on the practical applications of God’s word, as found in Psalm 119.  You can read the first post here, and click on each one in the list below to catch up.  We started with eight benefits:
Our key scripture today is Psalm 119:165:

Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.
If ever there was a practical idea, peace definitely meets the criteria! 
According to the website, there are currently 67 countries in the world experiencing some level of war, with 718 militias-guerrillas and terrorist-separatist-anarchic groups involved.  (Don’t look at this website if you plan to travel overseas!)
America is not included in this list, but we are definitely at war.  We are enmeshed in cultural, racial, political and moral wars.  When people are shot in the street simply out of anger and rage, I call that war.
The world has been in conflict since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden.  Sin brings war.  Our enemy Satan has an agenda to steal, kill and destroy.  Sin is behind every conflict, every battle, every struggle, every disagreement.  Whether the fight is between two first world nations or between a husband and a wife, sin is at the heart of it all.
What is peace?  Is peace simply the absence of conflict?
The Hebrew word for peace is shalowm (shalom).  It means completeness in number, soundness and safety in body, health, prosperity and welfare.  It also means quietness, contentment and tranquility.
Peace is what everyone desires.  But outward peace, peace in our world, will not come until Jesus comes back to rule this world.  So how can the word of God bring us peace today?
I see two specific ways that God’s Word brings peace.
The Living Word brings peace with God.
In John 16:33, Jesus told His disciples: These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.
Jesus is the Word.  John 1 teaches us this truth.  He is the living Word of God, revealed in human flesh.
John 1:1,14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father.  Because of our personal sin, we are enemies of God.  By paying our sin debt on the cross, when we accept the gift of salvation, we are at peace with God.
Romans 5:1-2 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
Salvation through the Word (Jesus) brings peace with God.
The written Word brings the peace of God.
Consider our key scripture again in Psalm 119:165:
Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.
The Hebrew word for “stumble” is mikshowl, and means that against which anyone stumbles, a stumblingblock; a cause of falling or failure; an obstacle or enticement.
How does loving God’s law bring us great peace and keep us from stumbling?
To love God’s law is to obey Him.  It is to make His Word the “plumb line” by which we make every decision, take every action, speak every word, consider every thought.  It is lining up our life to the wisdom and direction found in God’s Word. 
Loving God’s law means that I truly believe that He knows best, and that even when it is difficult, I will do what is necessary to align myself with His Word.  This brings a supernatural peace to our life.
Obeying God brings peace in a very practical sense.  Sinful choices, following my flesh, only leads to chaos, uncertainty, pain and regret.  But the practical wisdom of making wise and holy choices, because we love God’s Word and believe it to be true, brings peace to our life.  It keeps us from stumbling.
Proverbs 3:1-2, 5-6 – My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peacethey will add to you.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:13-17 – How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace
Obeying God is a matter of the heart.  It is not just about “keeping the law” but “loving the law.”  There is a difference.  The one who only tries to “keep the law” is a Pharisee.   We can pursue an outward righteousness, but still have a hard and un-surrendered heart.
Romans 9:30-33 – What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
Trying to earn God’s favor by doing the right things is pursuing peace on our terms.  This will never bring us peace because we can never measure up.  We miss the point, and instead of Jesus, the Living Word, bringing us peace with God, He becomes a stumbling stone, and we are offended with Him.  We have neither peace with God, or the peace of God.
The peace promised by God’s Word begins with salvation.  It is accepting what Christ did on the cross to reconcile us to God.  From our position of peace with God, we can then do life with the peace of God.  We can trust that His ways work, and that obedience will bring peace to our relationships, our work, our families, and our homes.
Are you at peace with God? 
Are you experiencing the peace of God?
If you are, praise God!  Keep walking by faith.
If you are not, examine your heart.  Do you truly know Him?  Have you accepted His gift of salvation?  Are you obeying His Word?  Are you living your life by the plumb line of the truth?
We may never see peace in our lifetime in our external circumstances.  But we can experience the unexplained, supernatural peace of God and with God, according to His Word.
The choice is ours.

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