Christians have been raised with Christ and seek those things in
the heavenly places (Col. 2:1-4). And, for now, we live in a fleshly
tent with all of life's associated heartaches. We find that the
peace of God departs upon occasion - not because of God but because
we fail to trust God.
In Mark 4:35-41 you will remember that the apostles and Jesus were
in a boat crossing the sea. The evening had begun peacefully and
Jesus was sleeping on a pillow. As a ferocious storm arose and waves
beat into the boat, the apostles became fearful and awoke Jesus.
After calming the sea Jesus asked: "Why are you so fearful?
How is it that you have no faith?"
Notice the relationship between fear and faith. Why were these
men fearful? Because of a lack of faith. Likewise fear enters us
when our faith is weak, but fear is faraway when our faith is strong.
Jesus says: "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot
kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul
and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And
not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore;
you are of more value than many sparrows" (Matt. 10:28-31).
Indeed, if the apostles had faith in Jesus to save them from a sinking
boat, they would have been confident of salvation and not fearful
of death - they would have been at peace.
Upon another occasion, the apostles were in a boat during a storm
and see Jesus walking on the water (Matt. 14:22-33). Peter answered
Jesus and said: "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to
you on the water." Jesus said: "Come," and Peter
steps out of the boat. Peter began to walk on the water but seeing
the boisterous storm became afraid. After saving Peter, Jesus says:
"O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
From this story, notice the correlation between faith and doubt.
Our faith becomes weak when we doubt the Lord. Transversely, a strong
faith provides no room for doubt. By comparing both stories, we
learn that doubt decreases our faith which is replaced by fear;
henceforth, peace departs from our mind.
It is important to remember that one of the key reasons (and probably
most frequent) that the peace of God departs from our mind is that
we doubt God. Because of our doubt in God, our faith is weak and
fear is strong; therefore, we are anxious, nervous, and filled with
turmoil. Lord willing, we will investigate the restoration of peace
in my next article. Until then, remember that God's peace is available
to all; and the manner by which Christians may receive God's peace
is revealed in His word.