TOPIC: Peace for Troubled Hearts
TEXT : Revelation 1:4, Hebrews 13:8, Isaiah 55:12, Isaiah 26:3, Romans 5:1, Acts 10:43, John 14:27, Isaiah 53:5, Colossians 2:13-14, Galatians 5:22-23, Philippians 4:6-7, Luke 2:14
According to the U. S. Census Bureau’s “Population Clock,” the world’s population is ticking closer and closer to seven billion.
How many troubled hearts do you suppose there are in the world?
There appears to be no end of thoughts that can trouble people. They are troubled about their past: Wrecked relationships, failures, lost opportunities, sinful habits and bad decisions are some of the old, haunting concerns. Then, they are troubled by their present: Where will the next meal come from? Family frictions, health problems, financial woes, uncertain jobs, aging and uncertainties about a myriad of other things that disturb minds everywhere. Finally, people are troubled about their future: How and when will I die? Do I have the right religion? What lies beyond the grave? If there is a God, am I prepared to meet Him? Will I go to hell?
It would seem that peaceful, untroubled hearts are pretty rare among the world’s seven billion. Is there a way to cure troubled hearts? Jesus offers a solution.
What to Receive
The angels introduced Christ’s birth to the world with the wonderful announcement of peace on earth among men with whom God is well pleased (Luke 2:14, NASB). That peace was to come, not through human negotiations, but through the person of Christ Himself.
Shortly before He was put to death, Jesus assured His disciples that their hearts were not to be troubled–that He was the sole source of lasting peace that could free them from the troubles of their past, their present and their future. He said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27, ESV).
Peace for troubled hearts comes from having a right relationship with the person of Christ. It’s not found in drugs, alcohol, religion or any other human solution.
Reflect on this
Much personal suffering, anxiety and lack of peace may be related to your past life. How does Jesus give you peace if you are troubled by your past? Find the following Bible verses and answer the related questions.
Isaiah 53:5. In this prophecy of Christ, what do you see that He has done to make peace possible for you?
Acts 10:43. What does the person who believes in Christ receive?
Colossians 2:13-14. What was your past condition? What does Jesus do for the believer?
Is your present life troubling you? What does being rightly related to Christ do to alleviate these issues?
Romans 5:1. What act of God assures the believer of peace with Him?
Galatians 5:22-23. What does this passage say about the source of present peace for the believer?
Isaiah 26:3. Who is kept in perfect peace by God?
Philippians 4:6-7. How is the peace of God obtained? What does this peace do for you? What about the future?
Isaiah 55:12. How does God describe the future peace of His people?
Revelation 1:4. What promise of Christ’s eternal presence and peace do you see in this verse?
Hebrews 13:8. What assurance do you see in this verse that the peace which Christ gives a believer today will last forever?
Consider the things that may be troubling you today. Have you accepted God’s forgiveness of your past? Are you resting in the peace Christ gives in this present hour?
Based on His Word, are you confident that the Lord has a peaceful, perfect future for you?
Memorize Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV), which has not only one of the greatest prayer promises in the Bible but also a promise of peace that only God can give:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
TOPIC: WORKING WITH A PURPOSE
TEXT: Genesis 2:15, Proverbs 31:10-30
Do you dread getting up Monday mornings (or whatever day begins your work week)? Do you refer to your job as the “daily grind” or “working in the salt mines”? If so, it’s a clear indicator that something is wrong. Somewhere, somehow, you’ve lost your purpose for what you’re doing.
God gave work as a gift (Genesis 2:15). He meant for it to fulfill a purpose in our lives. In fact, work should fulfill several purposes. Let’s see what God’s Word says that these might be.
WHAT GOD SAID
Read Proverbs 31:10-30. These verses describe a hardworking mother, wife and businesswoman (vv. 11-13). But as the writer describes her labors, we see that they fulfill a number of purposes (vv. 14-28). List below at least four purposes that are fulfilled by this woman’s labors.
Underlying all that this woman does is “the fear (reverence, awe) of the Lord” (v. 30). How would the “fear of the Lord” affect your attitude toward your job?
Write out a prayer of thanksgiving for your job. If you are currently without a job, use this as an opportunity to ask the Lord to provide work so that you might fulfill His purpose in your labors.
Additional Scripture: Colossians 3:17, 23-24 for your reading.