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We continue our sermon series Test the Spirits with the sermon The Spirit of True Peace. The problem with peace in our world is that it is very fragile. The last several years our peace has been shattered in so many ways; the ongoing pandemic, the unrest in our nation for a variety of issues and problems, and the recent series of shootings. The wound of violence in our society is deep and we wonder if there is any hope of peace. Yet, this also impacts our emotional state, our relationships, and social interactions, and we are beset with the inward burden of despair, disturbance, and distance. More and more the quality and quantity of our relationships give us unrest, rather than a strong sense of peace and hope!  We realize that strictly human peace is fragile and illusionary. Should we just “suck it up” and try to endure the failure of peace in our world and in our lives?  Not for a moment!  There is only one source of enduring, engaging, and eternal peace which is found in a living God.  God wants to give us a peace that is beyond our understanding, that will overflow from our lives into our relationships and our society.  We turn this week to Isaiah 57:12-21 to find this Spirit of True Peace.  God tells his people that they have lost reverence for him and no longer remember him but he has not forgotten them!  He wants to help them regain a peace that revives, renews, and restores their tired and exhausted lives! God spoke these words to Isaiah for us today. They can help us find the peace that will carry us to an eternal hope that will never disappoint, and cannot be shattered by the events around us!  It is our most earnest prayer that the Prince of Peace will settle over your heart as you read Isaiah 57:12-21: I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you.  13 When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But whoever takes refuge in me will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.” 14 And it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” 15 For this is what the high and exalted One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. 16 I will not accuse them forever, nor will I always be angry, for then they would faint away because of me– the very people I have created. 17 I was enraged by their sinful greed; I punished them, and hid my face in anger, yet they kept on in their willful ways. 18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners, 19 creating praise on their lips. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the LORD. “And I will heal them.” 20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. 21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” (NIV)