How do I get peace from God? | Chapel Hill Online | Gig Harbor

How do I get peace from God? | Chapel Hill Online | Gig Harbor

#stressedout #getpeace #stressrelief

Stressed out and longing for peace? God promises peace in the midst of stress, but we often struggle to get it. Just how do we get the peace that passes understanding? In this sermon, Pastor Ellis shows us what the Bible says about getting peace from God, and teaches us how to put that into practice.

Discussion Questions:
What was the most stressful time in your life and why? How did you cope with that stress in that season?

Read Philippians 4:6-7. How does God promise peace in the midst of stress?

Stop and spend time practicing prayer with the people you are with, whether that is your family, friends, or LifeGroup. Take turns saying out loud prayers of gratitude. If you don’t normally pray out loud, just keep it simple “Thank you God for….”, “I’m grateful for…” etc.

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3 years ago, my family and I took a summer trip to Colorado. We spent a few days in Denver, and then drove up into the Rocky Mountains. As we were driving up the mountain road, higher and higher, I began to feel my chest tighten up, but I’d been warned about that whole altitude thing, so I tried to put it out of my mind. We arrived at our vacation rental, and took the kids to a local park to let off some steam. When we were there, I felt my chest getting tighter and tighter. Even though I’m smiling in this photo, I can tell you I was not feeling good. [SLIDE] Less than 30 minutes later we were sitting in a restaurant, with the pain getting greater every minute, and then my heart started racing. It felt like my chest was going to explode. My vision began to dim. I began to lose hearing. And I looked over and said to Rachel, I think I’m having a heart attack.

After a visit to the ER and a barrage of tests, it turns out that I did not have a heart attack, I merely suffered my first ever stress-induced panic attack, which has remarkably similar symptoms! You see, the past 8 months had been the most stressful months of my life, with an ill-fated trip to England that left us stranded away from our home in Gig Harbor, and then a return to Chapel Hill in the middle of a significant transition in our worship ministry that left me working 70+ hour weeks while experiencing constant relational conflict as we underwent some strategic shifts. This trip to Colorado was the first time I had stopped in months, and all the stress that my body had been carrying hit me like a ton of bricks.

We all deal with stress in our lives, and there are seasons where that stress can be unbelievably intense. The last 18 months have placed a great deal of stress on many people, whether you are a young family, dealing with working from home and having kids at home; or someone who found themselves in an at-risk category for COVID, dealing with the reality of social isolation; or someone who has lost a loved one through this awful pandemic. This has been a stressful season for many of us. And today’s passage from the book we have been studying – the book of Philippians – answers the question I know many of us struggle with: how do I find peace in the midst of stress?

My name is Ellis and I am one of the Pastors here at Chapel Hill. You’re joining us as we continue our journey through a letter, found in the Bible, written by one of the earliest leaders in the church, Paul, and written to a church in the Greek city of Philippi. And talking of stress, the church in the city of Philippi had a lot of reasons to be stressed.

They had experienced rejection, by the local authorities, being accused of disturbing civic order by their anti-Roman practices in Acts 16; they had experienced resistance, from opponents tempting them to cowardice and retreat, according to the end of chapter 1 of Paul’s letter to them; they had experienced recession, or financial hardship, as Paul writes about in another of his letters, describing their situation as extreme poverty (2 Cor 8:2); and finally, they had friction in relationships, as we read about in the first few verses of chapter 4. [SLIDE] Rejection, resistance, recession and relationships. Anyone here feeling stressed because of just one of those today? Rejection, resistance, recession or relationships? I don’t know about you, but if I was facing multiple of those things, like the Philippians, I would feel a tremendous amount of stress.

So, Paul writes these next few verses to help the Philippians figure out how they can find peace in the midst of stress; and because Paul was inspired by the God to write these verses, I believe that they also speak to us today, and can teach us how to find peace, too. Let’s read what Paul wrote in Philippians 4.4 and following:

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