Being at peace in my heart is something that I am more aware of as I continue in recovery, growth, and healing. Having a clear conscience and inner peace is foundational in my relationships with others. There are three aspects of peace to consider:
Think of two enemies at war with each other and they decide to reconcile; they make peace with each other. This is what happened to me over 36 years ago.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1, emphasis added).
It's hard for many people to believe that they are enemies with God, but that is exactly what the Bible says. "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works...."
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5:10, emphasis added).
Peace with God comes from reconciliation to Him. He did His part through the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; your part is to come to Him in humble faith and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.
But as many as received him [the Lord Jesus Christ], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12).
This is the starting point and foundation of my peace. I have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. I am no longer at enmity with Him—we are reconciled to each other and are not enemies. We have an eternal father-child relationship. This is a foundational, secure peace, knowing that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I am forgiven. It is the confidence of knowing that I have eternal life because I have the Son of God.
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:11–13, emphasis added).
How was this peace affected when I was lying, committing adultery, and active in addiction? I certainly didn't feel this peace in my experience; I felt guilt and shame because of my actions and knew that it was causing displeasure and distance from my Father. My relationship to Him was strained and I couldn't enjoy communion with Him.
However, the father-son aspect of our relation is not dependent my behavior. Even in the depth of sin, I never ceased to be His son. I became His son on April 6, 1984 when we made peace and were reconciled to each other. Peace with God is based on the faith I placed in the work Jesus Christ did on the cross. It is through His grace and not my merit.
In Part 2, we will explore an aspect of peace we can experience every day through sobriety and recovery.
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