God’s Peace Overcomes Proverbs 14:30
He was born on July 1, 1899 in Villa Rica, Georgia. His father was a minister and his mother a piano teacher. Thomas Andrew Dorsey was known as “the father of black gospel music”. His compositions combined Christian praise with the rhythms of jazz and the blues. His first wife, Nettie died in childbirth in 1932. Two days later the child, a son, also died. In his grief, he wrote his most famous song, one of the most famous of all gospel songs, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” Dorsey’s works are found in the hymnals of virtually all American churches and of English-speaking churches worldwide. Another song he wrote became a gospel standard. Dorsey wrote “Peace in the Valley” for Mahalia Jackson in 1937. A plaintive reflection of the final peace promised by God in a life to come.. Precious Lord, Take My Hand and Peace in the Valley were songs written from the depths of pain and reliance upon God in the hardest of times.
Proverbs 14:30 A calm and peaceful and tranquil heart is life and health to the body… [AMP]
We can all think of something in our life or our world that causes us to long for peace. But if we all desire peace, why does it escape us?
1. Peace Eludes the World in Which We Live
We do not live in a tranquil world. Wars and rumors of war persist. Tyrants use their power to destroy others. Where are the statesmen? The world of Politics has become a ruthless name-calling slugfest. News today: panels of experts yelling at each other. There is only “Breaking News” today. Disease, Crime, and Hatred rob us of peace of mind. Our Cyberworld is not peaceful – FB, Twitter, Insta, Snap – all are infected with the loss of civility which creates intensified dialogue, bullying, unfiltered anonymous cruel gossip, accusation and critique.
2. Peace Eludes the World in Which We Function
We do not cultivate habits that lead to peace. BBC News: Across the industrialised world [people are] overburdened with work, at the expense of time with family and friends. … There are always more incoming emails, more meetings, more things to read, more ideas to follow up … We feel a social pressure to “do it all”, at work and at home, but that’s not just really difficult; it’s a mathematical impossibility. Peace seems to be elusive to us …
Proverbs 14:30 “A calm and peaceful and tranquil heart is life and health to the body but passion and envy are like rottenness to the bones.”
3. Peace Eludes the World Within
It is the inner world in which we do our greatest battles and in which we find the greatest thief of peace: envy.
Mark 7:20-23 “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
Envy is hatred and rejection of others based upon their money or reputation or happiness or strengths. Envy desires what another has, but also seeks to deprive someone else of what it desires.
We often fail to recognize envy in ourselves. Someone else is richer, healthier, luckier, better looking, smarter, more accomplished…. Envy keeps us from being concerned for the well being of others.
1 Corinthians 13:4 that “Love does not envy.”
How can we have a “A calm and peaceful and tranquil heart is life and health to the body?”
Establish Peace with God.
Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.”
We cannot have peace with ourselves or others without first experiencing peace with God.
Pray for Peace
1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
This places prayer on a national / international stage. Pray for those for whom you feel the slightest envy.
Cultivate an Ambition for Peace
1 Thessalonians 4:11 Make it your ambition to live quietly and peacefully…
In a survey Americans were asked if they could have their wildest dreams come true, 38% would choose to win lottery; 1% would choose world peace.
Find Peace in God’s Presence
Habakkuk 2:20 But the Lord is in His holy temple.Let all the earth hush and be silent before Him.”
When we encounter God in worship we can find peace when we place all our concerns into His hands.
God’s peace overcomes the troubles in our hearts.
In 1956 the then Soviet Union invaded Hungary, sending 250,000 refugees fleeing for their lives. On January 6, 1957, a few months later, a singer on the Ed Sullivan show dedicated a song to them and America to send in emergency aid to the International Red Cross. Then Elvis Presley dedicated Tommy Dorsey’s song to the war torn and homeless across the ocean. Peace in the Valley. There’ll be peace in the valley for me some day. The desire for peace is not just a song from the 50s, but should be our desire for the human race today. Until then, recognize the enemies of peace whether they come from the world, our work, our within.
Do you have peace with God today? Pray for peace, Be ambitious to find peace, Draw near to the God of peace in worship.
Prayer for Peace by St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Jeremiah, D.(2001). Facing the giants in your life: Study guide (pp. 118–124). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Vine, W. E. (1996). Collected writings of W.E. Vine. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Sermon by Dr. Larry Osborne in Morgan, R. J. (2007). Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook (2008 Edition, pp. 222–223). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.