PEACE

Mark R Buchan

Luke 2: 29, 30

Genesis 15: 6

        I have been at the preaching with our sister on many occasions, and what struck me each time was that she had complete peace hearing the word of God, because it was not a mystery to her.  The preacher was not saying anything that she was unaware of.  She was at peace with what God had to say about His salvation in Christ. Why?It was because she had taken it on for herself.  Such exhibit a peaceful spirit; a calm spirit.  I always appreciate that: it is good to have a peaceful spirit.  

        An occasion like this is marked by sorrow.  We are sorrowful that death has come in but peace comes in as we rely on the Lord in an occasion like this:  “having cast all your care upon him, for he cares about you”, 1 Pet 5: 7.  Think of that!  It brings peace into your soul, as you think of a scripture like that.  I think that is something our sister had laid hold of: “for he cares about you”; peace is not something you can just go to the shop and pick up and put in your basket because you feel you need a little more of it.  Could we not all do with a little more peace in our souls?  I think peace really is the product of belief and of behaviour.  And so I wish to take from these two sentences, and the four or five thoughts they have as to that.     

        This man Simeon says, “Lord, now thou lettest thy bondman go”.  If you are going to have peace with God it is only going to be on the line that you recognise you are the bondman and He is the Master.  You are never going to find peace with God if you seek equality with God.  That is what man did in the garden; he sought equality with God, sought to make his own decision.  Our sister was one who knew God as Master, the One who had control over all.  “Lord, now thou lettest thy bondman go”.  What a thing it is to really set yourself in right relationships with God, not to take a greater place than you have been given, but to recognise the One who is over all, that He is the Master.  

        Simeon says, “for mine eyes have seen thy salvation”.  What peace a soul can find in seeing God’s answer in salvation!  You will not find peace anywhere else.  You will never be at peace unless you see God’s answer in salvation.  Well, this man here says, “for mine eyes have seen thy salvation”.  What a thing Simeon had seen!  He had seen the Lord there as a Babe but he recognises that this was God’s salvation before him.  It was not man’s thoughts as to how he might save himself or anything like that, it is “thy salvation”.  That is God’s answer to the matter before Him.  Our sister was among those who had known for herself what God’s answers in salvation were.  They know the Person of the Lord, and what peace that brings into your spirit, when you come to know the Lord for yourself.  This man had Him before him.  He recognised that God was the One who was over all, recognised He was One who had the answer in salvation.  

        I go on to Abraham, it says here, “he believed Jehovah”, and, dear friend, if you are ever going to find peace in your soul, it is going to be on the line of believing God.  We may strive to find peace for ourselves.  People strive their whole lives to find peace.  Here it is being presented on the line of belief.  This is really,  if not the brightest, certainly a bright moment on Abraham’s path.  I would say it is the brightest really.  There is nothing else here but just the purity of believing God: “he believed Jehovah”.  I think our sister was another who believed God.  God has an answer to your worries; God has an answer to the cares that are upon your heart. The answer is to believe God, to believe that He has the answer to these things, “having cast all your care upon him”, 1 Pet 5: 7.  Believe that God has an answer for you!  Abraham was being asked to believe something impossible naturally.  In fact, what God had to say to him here might have seemed rather hurtful in a way because Abraham knew that he was physically unable to have children, and yet God was telling him that he was going to have a son.  Abraham had wanted that for a long time.  What a difficult thing it must have been for Abraham to believe at this moment and how easy it would have been to say, ‘That is impossible’, but it says, “he believed Jehovah”.  The simplicity of faith brings peace in the soul, the simplicity of believing God, taking God at His word.  

        And then it says, “and he reckoned it to him as righteousness”.  Dear friend, it is a wonderful thing to come to a measure of peace that is yours from salvation in belief in Christ that you are out from under the penalty that lies upon you, but go further: have a right relationship with God.  It was counted here to Abraham as righteousness.   We may think that righteousness is right behaviour, but it is not only that; it is right relationships with God.  That is what righteousness is, and it was counted here, Abraham’s belief in God was counted to him as righteousness.    We have to be on that line if we really want to be at peace with God, to be in right relationships with God.  

        It was always my impression in preaching to our sister that she knew exactly what I was talking about.  I was not saying something new, she understood what was being said from  a relationship with that One; she knew who her Saviour was, and she knew who He had come out from; she knew what God had in mind for her.  Right relations were there.  And, dear friend, might I commend peace to you.  Our sister now is at peace but, I think she was at peace already in her life here, in her walk here, because she was in a right relationship with God; she believed God and recognised that He was the One who was over all; she had received His answer in her soul in salvation.  What a thought that God has secured for you peace for your soul, not just that you can say, ‘Well,  I will be at peace one day’, but that you might be at peace now.  Our sister exemplified that locally I think; she was at peace. The Lord has now taken her, but she was with the Lord in her pathway, and showed that amongst us.  What a privilege to be in the company of one who is in right relations with God!

        May we all take that to ourselves and be encouraged for His Name’s sake!

Peterhead

23rd August 2023