Thursday, 17 January 2013

Peace of Mind in a World of Anxieties

Peace of Mind in a World of Anxieties and Animosities-Part-1

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

“Man who is born of woman lives only a short time and is full of trouble.  He grows up and dries like a flower. He leaves like a shadow and does not stay. You open Your eyes on him and decide about him.  Who can make clean what is unclean? No one!  A man’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. He cannot live longer than the time You have set. If a man dies, will he live again? I will wait all the days of my trouble until a change comes." (JOB 14:1-5, 14-NLV)

The Book of Job has been a masterpiece of literature. It defends the absolute sovereignty, Love, Glory and perfection of God and paints a beautiful picture of "man of God, his suffering and triumph”. This book is also a reminder that we are only “human.” We are mortals and are subject to troubles and death. Our life is like a flower, it is a shadow, the flower is fading, and all its beauty soon withers and is gone. The shadow is fleeting, and it’s very being will soon be lost and drowned in the shadows of the night. The shortness and uncertainty of human life too: Man is of few days. Life is here computed, not by months or years, but by days, for we cannot be sure of any day but that it may be our last. Man, as he is short-lived, so he is sad-lived. Though he had but a few days to spend here, yet, if he might rejoice in those few, it were well but it is not so. During these few days he is full of trouble, not only troubled, but full of trouble, toiling or fretting, grieving or fearing. No day passes without some vexation, some worry, some disorder or other.

It is not an assumption that the present world is constantly in turmoil. Violence and injustice are committed in the name of hunger, greed, fear, egocentric craving and political and religious ideology. Both within and without, chaos rules our mind and the world. The agonizing cry has echoed down through the ages, but it is heard with increasing intensity as the world becomes increasingly more terrified and full of trouble. Is it also the cry of your heart? Amidst the prevailing discontent and disturbance, do you long for an inward quietness that transcends all else? Is peace of mind possible in such a troubled world?

Many search among outward and tangible things, but neglect to look to God and within. They are afraid of what they may discover. They would like to blame a troubled world for their troubled minds, but the cure must begin within their own hearts.  We generally believe that external conditions such as food, cloths, shelter, friends, cars, and money are the real basis of happiness, and as a result we devote nearly all our time and energy to acquiring these material things. Superficially it seems that these things can make us happy, but if we look more deeply we shall see that they also bring us a lot of troubles and problems.

Multitudes are seeking peace in prominence and prosperity, in pleasure and power, in culture and knowledge, in relationships and resolutions. They desire to fill their life with acquaintance, their heads with information and their purses with wealth, but their souls remain empty. Others are seeking to escape the realities of life with stylish pleasure, drugs or alcohol, but the peace they seek eludes them. All their seeking only takes them in a furious circle of frustrations and futility. They are still empty and lonely, still in a troubled world with a troubled mind.

Peace of mind is one of the greatest treasures man can have. But Sin causes the greatest  threats to the well-being  and peace of  our mind. Man's fall resulted in his spiritual death. His body was genetically damaged so that all men are mortal because of the sin of Adam. Men cut off from the source of life and God IS Life! All life, all forms of life, come from God. Being disconnected from the source of life means an organism will begin to die, and continue to die. Peace is a divine attribute and quality. It cannot remain with wicked persons. Bible says "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."(Isaiah 57:21.) Greed, lust, jealousy, envy, anger, pride, and egoism are the enemies of peace. Peace is not in money, estate, bungalows, and possessions. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul surrender to the Living God.

Bible says “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”(Romans 8:6)  Peace is not in the heart of the carnal man. Peace is in the hearts of spiritual men. It is in the heart of an unselfish person, who has denied his self and accepted Christ in his heart.  Nothing can bring you peace, but Christ. Nothing can bring you peace, but the victory over yourself, triumph over your body and mind, desires and cravings. When we cease to live in a state of frustration and anxiety and begin to live in a state of serenity and calmness, we have acquired one of the beautiful gems of happiness. Peace with God brings contentment and cheerfulness and is a source of strength to ourselves and others. There can be no peace until all of life—mind, body, and spirit—are coordinated by the One who made us and understands us. He is not only master of the world but knows your life and mine from the beginning to the end. Although our soul longs for God, our sinful nature rebels at His ways. Part of us yearns for God and part of us reaches for fleshly desires. Our hearts are a battleground of continual conflict. This inner struggle causes tension and excessive strain. Without God we are "like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt" (Isaiah 57:20)

God-centered Life is Peace 

Instead of seeing yourself as the center of existence, you need to turn to God and make Him your central purpose in life. Without God as your center, you fall easy prey to petty worries, self-pity, fears, and anxiety. With God in the center, every area of your life will reach out from the "hub" like spokes in a wheel and make your life complete and worth living. Only a heart centered in God can be kept steady and peaceful. "Peace" signifies any kind of good produced by the gospel. It is the good news of reconciliation and the end of the conflicts, distresses and woes of our warfare. In Hebrew peace means not only the absence of trouble; peace always means everything which makes for a man's highest good. In the east when one man says to another, Salaam—which is the same word—he does not mean that he wishes for the other man only the absence of evil things; he wishes for him the presence of all good things. In the Bible peace means not only freedom from all trouble; it means enjoyment of all good.

When you find yourself in trouble, you’ve got to know that God is for you and is operational to deliver you. God is not the one who caused the trouble. God created man with perfect peace, joy, and happiness. But when Adam and Eve disobeyed, they were at once stricken with guilt.  Before they had longed for the presence of God, but now they hid themselves with shame. Guilt and fear replaced the peace and happiness they knew. Here was the beginning of a troubled world-and a troubled mind. Like Adam and Eve, when you are out of tune with God, fears and anxieties crowd into your life. When you focus your attention on the uncertainties of life, on a changing, decaying world, your security and confidence are shaken. Your peace is disturbed. Sin has separated man from God. The love of self was at the root of the first disobedience of man. It continues to be one of the basic evil inclinations that take you down the path of despair and heartache. When you become self-centered in your wants and ambitions, you become anxious and fretful. The longer you travel the path of self-contentedness, the more troubled you become.

All living beings have the same basic thirst to be happy and stay away from troubles and turmoil. Man is a spirit, who possesses a soul and lives in a physical body. God made man with a living soul which longs to be in peace with its Maker. Bible says “As the deer Desires Rivers of water, so my soul desires You, O God.  My soul is thirsty for God, for the living God. When will I come and meet with God?" (Psalm 42:1-2NLV) Only the living God will satisfy the soul. Of this you may be certain: you will never be at peace until you are at peace with God. Peace is essentially being of one mind with God, and it is also the character of God. When you became born again, your inward man (spirit) was made holy through no effort on your part. The only thing you had to do was believe that Jesus died for your sins and accept Him as your Lord and personal Savior. At that moment, your spirit was created in righteousness and holiness, just like Jesus is righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24). “Therefore, since we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)” (Romans 5:1)   

  To be continued…………