The Narrow Path To Personal Peace
Wars, riots, domestic violence, and international conflicts—it’s clear that the world is not at peace. But our internal worlds don’t have to mirror this external chaos. In this message, Dr. Stanley speaks of Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace and explains how we can find inner contentment and true rest through a personal relationship with Him. Don’t let things like anger, lust, or bitterness steal your peace.
Jesus in my peace I’ve given to you, not the world gives give on to you, let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.
And he’s spoke those words to his disciples the night before he was going to be crucified.
And, of course, they didn’t quite understand what all this was about.
They had an idea that something really toughest can being rather happened, but he said my peace are given to you.
And if I should ask you this morning, do you have peace in your heart?
I mean, do you have a subtle sense of satisfaction? Not that you everything’s right.
But that you have a relationship with god, whereby you’re convinced and persuaded that whatever you face in life, it’s gonna be okay.
Because you have him, the assurance that he is living within you.
Your name is written in the lamb’s book of life, One of these days whether you die or he comes first, you know that you’re going to heaven and all of this mess is going to be over with and things are going to be right like he promised.
Do you have that sense in your own heart? Well, we don’t live in a very peaceful age.
That’s for sure. People do not have peace about that job, about their marriage, about their children, about the circumstance in which they live or where they live or how they have to live.
And so when Jesus comes along, and he says, my peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives.
That is the world can’t give the kind of peace that Jesus offers.
So I would ask you, do you have that kind of peace?
Can you honestly say I have this sense of peace.
Now, the Greek word is Irene, which means to to put something together.
That is to to bind it together.
That is when a person has genuine peace, we sense this to govern this in their heart.
We sense this oneness and without strife and without consternation and all the things that go on.
The peace that Jesus Christ offers is peace that comes through a relationship with him.
That’s the only true source of lasting peace. Everything else in the world is counterfeit.
You may have all the money in the world you want. Go any way you choose.
Do most anything you wanna do.
Have most anybody you wanna have, but if you don’t have Jesus, you do not have peace.
Always struggling for something. And when I think about the days which Jesus lived, Rome was doing their best to keep the peace.
But how were they trying to keep it? Two ways, power and pain.
And that’s the way they kept everybody in subjection. How does god want us to enjoy peace?
A relationship. Think about this. A relationship with one person
can bring about peace in your life.
But if that relationship is not with the right person, it’s not gonna be peace.
And you can have a pretty good relationship with lots of lots of different people in life, but until there’s a relationship with Jesus, you’re not gonna have peace.
And here’s the reason something’s always gonna be missing.
I was talking to a doctor, a friend of mine this week.
And, um, he knew what I was gonna preach on. So He said, I wanna tell you something.
When I look at all of my patients, And look down through the years of how they’ve responded things.
He says, I think I could say, understood that most of them Ultimately, when we get down to the bottom line of what’s going on in their life, they’re anxious about something.
They don’t have any peace. They can’t sleep.
They find themselves being very negligent about things and oftentimes looking where they shouldn’t look.
And on and on he goes about people who don’t have any peace.
And if I should ask you this morning, do you really truly have peace in your life Is there a sense of quietness and calmness and completeness and fullness?
You don’t have to have anything else. And you don’t have to have anybody else to have peace.
Jesus said, my peace are given to you. Why did he say that?
Because That’s the only source of true genuine peace is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
So when you think about the things that Jesus said, and the way he said them, he said we’re the children of god.
And, uh, this god is a god of peace. That’s who we are.
And when you trusted Christ as your savior, you took on a whole new relationship.
The most important relationship in life.
The only relationship that’s gonna last beyond this life, and that’s a relationship with Christ.
He said, for example, we are to be followers of the prince of peace, who is the prince of peace Jesus?
He’s the avenue. He’s the prince.
And he said in the sermon on the Mount, we’re to be called peacemakers.
I wonder how many of you consider yourself a peacemaker?
Now some of you would have to say, well, not, when that situation I live in, I’m not a peacemaker.
Well, Jesus didn’t say except if and and but. We’re to be peacemakers. Watch this.
There’s to be something within us that so connects with someone else and helps them to be connected to the real true peacemaker that things begin to change when the relationship with Jesus Christ gets right.
Then you have the foundation of true genuine peace. And though that happens, it’s not gonna be there.
And if you ask the majority of people, do you have peace?
They’d have to say, well, sometimes maybe, and ultimately, not really.
And when I think about all the things that Jesus said, he said we’ve been given the gift of peace.
It isn’t that is it isn’t something we work up to. It’s a gift that he gives us.
What is that gift? Watch this. It’s the gift of himself.
When Christ comes into your life, watch this carefully.
He satisfies the long ends of your heart. He promises to do it.
He satisfies those hungers and thirst in our life that really and truly satisfy.
The world has all kinds of counterfeits. But there’s one narrow path
that leads to peace. And it’s not the world’s approach.
They offer many counterfeits. One single
narrow road to peace, and most people will die never having found it. And I would ask you
it if you know what that piece is. Do you know how to walk that path?
Or are you like the rest of the world sort of trying to get all of this and all of that and go ahead and do this and do the other, trying to find something that satisfies the knowing in your heart.
One thing for certain, you can’t counterfeit, Pete. Not really. Peace is a precious, precious
gift from one person, and that’s Jesus.
And nowhere in the Bible, does it say there’s any other source?
But I would just ask you if you have it.
Doesn’t mean that you have everything in the world you want. But you watch this.
You can have absolute awesome complete, continuous fulfillment of the peace of god in your life and not have a lot of things.
And when I think about Jesus and the apostles, he said, uh, my peace I’ve given to you, not as the world gives give on to you.
Why did he say that because he’s saying to them, The world can’t satisfy the longing in your heart.
My peace, Jesus said. My peace I give unto you.
Not as the world tries its best to give.
So when I think about that and I think about, like, came across this verse of scripture, that I don’t know how in the world I missed it all these years, and it was sort of ashamed of myself when
I realized I missed it.
I had to ask god to forgive me.
And so if you turn to the tenth chapter of Luke, you’re gonna have to ask him to forgive you also, but let’s look at this, if you will.
Luke chapter ten. When Jesus was sending his disciples out, uh, well, he he he was instructing them what to do and how to do it, And, um, he said in the ninth chapter of Luke, and I’m coming to the tenth chapter.
And as you go for those who do not receive you as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.
And then he comes on over to the tenth chapter. And, yes, what he says in verse five.
Now, think about this and apply this to yourself. Think it. Don’t think about the being in the new testament.
Think about right now. Whatever house you enter, first say peace be to this house.
Do you do you see what it says?
Whatever house you enter first say peace be to this house and I got to thinking lord, how many how many houses been in in my life?
And I never said that. Jesus said, whatever house you enter first say peace be to this house.
So I had to ask the lord to forgive me.
I thought, Lord, that’s not what I’ve done. You said, oh, Jesus didn’t mean you. Yes, he did.
And so Jesus meant what he said because what he was saying is pray, pray for this home.
Pre pray for the people who are living here.
What kind of troubles are they having having?marriage troubles, troubles with the kids, financial troubles, disappointments, and all the things that happen within the house.
Drive down the block you live in.
And as you look at each house, and think, wonder what’s going on in there.
One of the peace of god is in there. One, what what they what are they troubled about?
Are they suffering from heartache and hardship and difficulties and trials and needs, sickness, and maybe somebody’s close to death?
Jesus always had a purpose for every single thing he said.
And so this is what he said to him. Whenever you go, wherever you go,
You bless that house before you enter it.
Now, There’s some things that steal our peace in our life. So I
want us to think about it. For example, he he promised to give us peace.
And we do have peace with him when our heart is right.
We’ve been saved with the grace of god.
That’s something you never sinned, but you ask him to forgive you, and your walk is a walk of peace.
But there’s some thoughts, there’s some ideas that steal our peace.
So remember, we said peace is a narrow path.
That is if you are walking in peace, there are a lot of things that are not gonna be in that pathway.
So let’s think about some peace stealers.
For a moment. One of them is lustful
thoughts. You cannot have lustful thoughts and have peace.
Because the spirit of god, in a Christian, for example, is going to cause you to feel not just peace, but a sense of conviction.
When a person looks at something of someone with a lustful thought, the spirit of god isn’t saying bless you, The con the spirit of god is convicting you, you shouldn’t look, shouldn’t see, shouldn’t think, shouldn’t desire, shouldn’t lust after it.
The narrow road of peace eliminates a lot of things.
Lossful thoughts create, not peace, but chaos in a person’s heart, in a person’s soul.
And we live in a society that’s full of it. So that’s one thought.
Then for example, feelings of guilt.
If you feel guilt over sin in your life, Gulfur was something you didn’t do, should have done.
Gulfur was something you said you should not have said. You can’t have you can’t have peace. Watch this.
Peace is well, you listen, say amen. Peace is fragile.
Feelings of guilt, will absolutely destroy your peace.
I think about people who are getting a divorce by the millions and millions
and millions. There’s no peace in that relationship.
I think about parents who do not know where their children are.
There’s no peace in that mother’s heart or her father’s heart.
I think about friends and think about people who know that what they’re doing is they’re living in sin.
All kinds of sexuality and drunkenness and all, and and drugs and all the rest.
Find somebody who is living in adultery, who has peace in their heart, or someone who is lying to keep their job.
On and on and on it goes, the path of peace is very narrow.
And that is, thoughts that are guilted thoughts, destroy peace or anger You can’t be angry and be at peace.
Can’t be. God talks about anger, doesn’t belong in their hearts.
You can’t be angry towards somebody and have peace in your heart at the same time.
You say, well, but if if you know what they did to you, you gotta write to be angry, no, you don’t.
How can you have peace in your heart if something inside of you is knowing a way and and and getting more and more bitter every day.
You cannot. Peace is a narrow pathway.
I think about people, for example, who are very, very bitter about something that’s happened
in their past. They can’t get over it.
The way they’ve been treated. What they feel may be true.
And nowhere in the Bible is that say, Um, you have a right to be angry and bitter if somebody does this and so.
No. I’ll tell you what settled that.
When Jesus went to the cross, if anybody had a right to
be bitter and angry and resentful, he did, but he did not.
And so by example, he says it.
And by word, he teaches us not to be bitter and angry no matter what happens.
And there are a lot of people who are miserable today because they’re bitter towards someone for something they’ve done.
Maybe they cheated you in some fashion. Maybe they made a promise they broke.
And I’ll think about how many people make promises to each other about marriage and break those promises.
You can’t be living a double life and have peace.
No matter how fine your automobile is, a big your bank account, What position you have, you may be number one in whatever situation you’re in.
You don’t have peace with god. If you’re not obedient to god, you cannot.
The world doesn’t believe that.
They’re trying to deaden their conscience and deaden their feelings because what’s going on within them that’s wrong is destroying them.
Our thought life, you cannot escape what you think by taking a pill or having a drink.
Think about this. How foolish when you can have the peace of a loving heavenly father, and you decide, no, this is the route I’m going.
And then, people who seemingly are pretty good, if you look at them, self centeredness.
Very substance. It’s all about me. It’s all about what I want. It’s all about what I deserve.
It’s all about what I think. It’s all about what I wanna do.
Listen, you can have no peace if you’re all wrapped up in yourself. That self centeredness is selfish.
It’s his pride. Can’t have any peace like that.
Then I think about people who doubt, people who live in doubt.
They doubt the word of god. They doubt that god will answer their prayer.
They doubt that going to church and making the difference in the world, They doubt their friendships, their relationships, they live the the skeptics at heart.
There’s no peace in that.
In fact, if you’ll think about it, it’s a very, very, very narrow path to genuine peace.
Because we have a lot of things around us that steal that peace, if we allow it.
Can you live peacefully and have peace and enjoy peace in the world that is confused and mixed up, and as wrong as ours is.
Yes, you can. Watch this. It isn’t relationship plus its relationship period.
You ought to write that down.
It’s not relationship plus its relationship period. It’s Jesus in you.
He is the source of peace. He is the provider of peace. He and he alone.
And all you have to do is look around, talk to your friends or your enemies or the people you work with, Find out how many find out how many people you talk to that you can tell by their conversation whether they have peace or not.
Because watch this, a person who does not have peace cannot hide it.
And people think if they get enough money, they’ll have peace. How much money is enough?
It’s never enough. There’s only one source of true genuine peace.
That is having a sense of oneness with god.
A sense of unity That’s the source of all genuine peace no matter what happens.
This is why we meet people once in a while.
Who are going through situations and circumstances, we think, how do they handle that?
And every once in a while I’ve met someone whom and I’d I’d walk away and think, oh, god.
I hope I could have the kind of peace they have going through what they’re going through.
Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.
Jesus is the source of true genuine lasting peace.
Anything else and everything else is a substitute.
I think also people who are living in doubt about the things of god I’ll think about people, for example, who just are not believers.
And I can tell you this, not believing long enough to know this.
I’ve never met a person who was not a Christian, who gave me any true genuine evidence that they were really happy.
Little fluff on the outside.
A lot of that sounded good, but the more I listened and the more I watched,
and the more what I didn’t see, and didn’t hear, that’s not peace. Let me tell you something.
When you have Jesus in your heart, you can’t keep it to yourself.
And it’s not that you have to act out. You don’t have to act anything.
You just allow him to express who he is through your conversation.
Watch this, your conversation, your conduct, and your character.
And I think, for example, people who are living in unbelief. They are miserable.
No matter what they say to you, they’re miserable.
If you don’t if you don’t have Jesus in your life, and let me ask you a question, what do you have that you can really and truly depend upon?
Jesus is the source, the narrow road to peace. Is a relationship with Jesus.
And I think about people, for example, who get jealous.
They think they’ve got everything just right and somebody else comes along and they get jealous about this and jealous about that and jealous about somebody.
And That’s not peace.
Peace is a gift of god that comes through the presence. Of Christ in our life.
That’s the source of peace.
And this is why some people can go through the most terrible, horrible, circumstances and situations that are lost and suffering, heartache and pain in their life and have this awesome sense of unshakable
peace because they have one relationship that’s right.
Now, How do
we experience this peace? I want you to write them down. And the first one says this.
We must believe that he is in control of our life and our circumstances.
If I don’t believe that, I’m not gonna have any peace.
Otherwise, we’ll attempt to be in control, and there’s no peace in that struggle.
But do I believe that he is in absolute control? He is.
Just because I get out of control doesn’t mean he’s out of control, doesn’t mean that he can’t does not control everything.
So ask yourself the question. Do I believe that he is in control of my life?
I didn’t say feel like it. Do you believe that he’s in control?
The second statement is this. We must believe that his offer of peace is real and be willing to accept his offer of peace in spite of our feelings.
Can’t go by feelings. Here’s our my peace I give unto you.
Not as the world gives give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled.
What I’m giving you, he says, not like what the world’s got to offer. Because it doesn’t satisfy anything.
And then in order to have peace,
we must fully surrender a total life, mind, will, and emotion. That Jesus is lord.
We must fully surrender our total life. Mine will in
the motion to Jesus is lord.
That is my character, my conversation, and my conduct.
I must surrender to him. Peace is this awesome eternal relationship.
This one that’s with Jesus.
Does that mean that you’ll never have any trouble? No.
Does it mean that you’ll never get sick? No. Does it mean that you’ll ever have fear? No.
But here’s what happens. Whenever and whatever comes your way, you can respond with this absolute certainty.
The lord Jesus who is in me will see me through this.
He will be adequate no matter what’s going on in my life.
So I’m gonna ask you a simple question.
Do you have peace in your life?
Were you sitting here this morning when you first came in and you were worried about something?
Concerned about something? Maybe you were feeling jealousy Maybe you are feeling lustful, maybe you are feeling, uh, just distraught about the way that you’ve been treated.
Maybe you’re concerned about what’s gonna happen tomorrow on your job.
Of that person that you just don’t like being around.
You see, you you can go to church
and be terrible shape by the time you get out.
Unless, you’re willing to surrender your life to Jesus and say lord, Here here I am.
Here’s my life.
I’m gonna trust you, not for how people are gonna treat me, what I’m gonna receive or not receive.
I’m gonna trust you to be in me what only you can be.
And I’m gonna trust that you have absolute control and that you’re gonna make it all come out in such a fashion.
It’s gonna be
a blessing to you, Lord, and a blessing to me.
Sometimes the most trying, painful circumstances in life
turn out to be a seedbed.
Just the seedbed of awesome peace that God sends to your life. Now listen,
You’ve heard all of this. And every single one of us knows in our heart right
now, if we have peace or not. You don’t have to ask anybody else.
You know whether you have peace or not. Watch this carefully. You can have it.
No matter what you’re going through, you can’t have it.
The invitation to peace is always there from Jesus. So what does it require of me?
Surrender my life to him. Okay, Jesus. I’ve messed it up.
I’m just surrendering myself to you whatever you choose. I’m going with it.
I’m gonna believe that you the source of my peace is my peace, and you
will see me through whatever I’m facing, and you’ll see me through it.
Knowing in my heart, you are the source of my peace.
I ask you one last question.
If Jesus is not the source of your peace, to be honest, if Jesus is not the source of your peace, What is?
I love that verse.
My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives, let not your heart be troubled, neither be afraid.
And maybe you have been listening or watching, and you’re thinking. Okay.
You just don’t know my circumstances.
He does. He knows all about your circumstances. And you know what he’s willing to do?
Forgive you of your sin, cleanse you But it’s a matter of surrender and a matter of faith.
Am I willing to believe that he can clean up this horrible mess I’ve made if I surrender my life to him.
Let me ask you
a question. Is NMS too big for god?
Then he’s got your number, hadn’t he?
He’s waiting for you to deal with him.
He’s waiting for you to bring it to him to say, Lord, I messed these things up in my life, I’ve heard of the people, I’ve cheated, or whatever done, whatever whatever you’ve done in your life.
I’m giving it all
to you. I’m surrendering my life to you. What will he do?
Forgive you, watch this, and forget it. And give you a new start.
And that’s my prayer for you.
And father, thank you that you didn’t list twenty things for us to do to change in order to have your peace.
You said trust me. Trust me. Trust me.
Thank you for loving us enough to make it so simple and plain.
Thank you for loving us enough.
To forgive and forget, and give us a new start.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.