George H. Morrison - Devotional Sermons
Peace, the Possession of Adequate Resources
My peace I give unto you--Joh 14:27
What Is Peace?
Talking with a young fellow some time ago, I was struck by a remark he made. It followed on a sermon which we both had listened to on the subject of interior peace. "It's not peace," he said, "we young fellows want. What we want is thrills." That was a very candid utterance, and one likes young fellows to be candid. It set me wondering whether inward peace was really so grey as it is sometimes painted. And just then, in the book of an honored friend, I lit on a sentence which arrested me. He said peace is the possession of adequate resources. That seemed to me a very fruitful thought with a strong appeal in it for vigorous minds, and it is well worth considering a little.
Peace in Business Is the Possession of Adequate Resources
Think, for instance, how true that is of business. When long seasons of depression come and when business is stagnant, if not moribund, what is it that makes all the difference between intense anxiety and peace? It seems to me, who am not a business man but one who watches things with an observant eye, that it is just the possession of adequate resources. If there be little capital and almost no reserves, how terrible these dead times must be! I sometimes wonder how a business man can sleep not knowing if he can tide it over. But how different, when these dead seasons come, for any business that has great reserves and is strong in the possession of vast capital. Scanty capital means sleepless hours. Inadequate resources spell anxiety. What fears and miseries must haunt the breast when there is almost nothing to fall back upon! I venture to think that in the realm of business when times are bad and everything is stagnant, peace is the possession of adequate resources. The multimillionaire does not need to be unduly concerned about paying his current expenses or investing a sum of money in some new venture.
Creative Genius Means Possessing Adequate Mental Resources
The same thing is true of other spheres. Think, for example, of creative genius. Contrast the toiling literary hack with the man of genius like Sir Walter Scott. The one, very imperfectly endowed, is always in misery lest he be running dry. I have known preachers who were just like that, haunted by the fear of running dry. But the man of genius is serene and confident as Sir Walter was serene and confident, because he is conscious of perfectly adequate resources. "Here is God's plenty," as Dryden said of Chaucer. I have known three or four great men in my life, and there was one feature common to them all. They never worried and they rarely hurried. There was a leisurely serenity about them. And that peace, whatever their task might be, whether laying the Atlantic cable or building the Forth Bridge, found its basis in the possession of adequate resources, not in the bank but in the brain.
Christ's Peace Was the Result of Adequate Resources
Then one turns to our Lord and at once discovers how true that was of Him. It was one of the secrets of His rich serenity. Look at Him in the storm--how calm He is! Look again--He is lying fast asleep. He is peaceful amid the raging elements, slumbering like an infant in its cradle. And all the others, Peter, James, and John, agitated, excited, and alarmed, are fearful amid the terrors of the sea. Their fear betrayed their helplessness. It showed them unequal to their problem. They were not equipped for battling with storms. They had no reserves to call up for a tempest. But He was peaceful and sleeping like a child though the wind was howling and the boat was filling, and His peace was the possession of adequate resources. Picture the anxious look upon the host's face when the wine gave out at the marriage feast at Cana. Even Mary was distressed about it, worrying over the honor of the family. Christ alone was carefree. Christ alone was radiant and serene because He was conscious of perfectly adequate resources. "My peace"--it was a very wonderful peace. No sounding of our thought can ever fathom it. There was perfect fellowship with God in it. There was full and unconditional surrender. But one element, one vital element, witnessed in a score of incidents, was the possession of adequate resources.
By Possessing Christ, You Can Possess Adequate Resources
Then the Master comes to you and says, "My peace I give unto you." And, perhaps, like my young friend, you say, "I do not want that peace. I want to have a vivid, thrilling time of it." Many people are saying that today. Well, now, think of it like this--lay aside the unwelcome sense of peace, as if peace meant taking the color out of life and robbing experience of its vividness. Instead of that, say to yourself quietly, and say it again and again till you have mastered it: peace is the possession of adequate resources. You want to live a full, abundant life; but are you really equipped for such a life? Is your will strong enough--your feeling fine enough--your conscience quiet enough--your heart deep enough? Then Christ comes, and says, "Friend, enter into My fellowship today, and I shall give you the resources that you need." Christ can take the sting out of the conscience. Christ can strengthen the weak, unstable will. Christ can exalt and purify the feeling. Christ can deepen the undeepened heart. He can possess you with His divine resources for a full, abundant, and victorious life, and in that possession there is peace. Peace is harmony. Peace is intense life. Peace is being equal to the problem. Peace is possessing adequate resources for an overcoming and abundant life. That is the kind of peace which Jesus gives, not a dull and joyless resignation, but all the resources a guilty sinner needs to enjoy eternal life "in Him" now.
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