Posted by: dhkrause | April 29, 2013

Righteousness, Peace and Joy

Righteousness, peace and joy result from doing what YHWH tells us to do, as Paul declares in Romans 14:17, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Jesus summarized this saying, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:17)

When we do his commands, we have the blessings of his peace and joy, and of His love that casts out fear, as he declares in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Love, joy and peace abide together when we are led by the Holy Spirit, as Paul describes in Galatians 5, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

When we put God first, we position ourselves to receive peace and joy. Jesus gave us this set of priorities in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Peace and joy are the constant companions of those who walk with God:

Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy.

Isaiah 55:12
“For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Romans 15:13
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

True peace and joy are founded upon faith in God and obedience to His word. Without faith it is impossible to please God: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Faith in the Messiah God has sent is the key to fulfilling His calling for our lives. Jesus (Yeshua) bore our sorrows, and brought salvation and peace by his atoning life and death as described in Isaiah 53:

3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Describing this sacrifice he was about to make, and its significance for all who believe, Jesus declared, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

We live out our faith and love by obeying God’s commandments as 1 John 5 describes:

1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

Through faith we have peace with God, and his love is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us:

Romans 5
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

We find rest for our souls by accepting this invitation of Jesus:

28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

When we accept this invitation to receive and walk with him, we become new creations as described in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” We have the victory by fixing our eyes upon Jesus and what he has done for us:

Hebrews 12:1-2
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

At the end of this road are joy and peace, and eternal glory far outweighing any afflictions we may now experience:

“16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4: 16-18)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 4/28/13


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