Saturday, May 24, 2014
There is a peace that faith in Jesus brings. There is a calm. A knowledge down deep inside that, no matter what happens, everything is going to be alright. Perhaps it's God's Holy Spirit that creates that calm. Or perhaps it is simply the knowledge, the understanding, that God is in control. God is on His throne and He always will be.
I had many reasons to be frustrated this week. A friend of mine had been "uninvited" to speak at a large festival near Madison when some of the city council members learned that my friend was a Christian and took a pro-life stance. The organizers of the event then pulled back their invitation, calling him a "controversial activist." The only thing "controversial" about my friend is that his smile is too big for his face. He's a big teddy bear.
It was a frustrating day at work as well. At least it could have been. Work piling up. Deadlines approaching. Not enough time to get things done. Have you ever felt pressure in the workplace? It is VERY easy to get frustrated. However, I have found that my frustration level has decreased since I placed my faith in Christ.
I don't want to create the wrong impression here. Jesus is not someone who makes us feel better, like he's a chiropractor or a massage therapist. No. The reason I feel better is because none of the pressure at work matters to me anymore. Yes, I want to do a good job. Yes, I want to get things done on time. But I give all that pressure to Jesus - in prayer, in my service to others. I just relax and work until the job is done.
In Paul's letter to the Philippians, Paul tells them to chill out and place their faith in Jesus. We should do the same. :)
"7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:7
I went on a high ropes course with our youth group once. Several of the women leaders were freaking out about the possibility that they might fall. Trying to calm their fears I said, "Hey, what's the worst that could happen? You'd fall, the safety harness would fail and you'd plummet to your death. But then you'd get to meet Jesus!"
I thought what I had said was encouraging. Apparently not. I received an evil glare and this:
"No. Falling and dying is not the worst thing that could happen. Falling, living, yet getting horribly disfigured and handicapped for the rest of your life."
What an optimist!
Sometimes we do get frustrated though. We get scared and worried and think we might fall, even though Jesus tells us not to.
"Fear not." - numerous people, literally hundreds of verses in the Bible
"Do not worry," - Jesus, Matthew 6:24-35
We are pitiful at following Gods directions. But if we do? If we can relinquish all our fears and worries to Jesus, guess what awaits us? His Peace . . .
"27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." - John 14:27
Last night I received a text from my sister, carrying with it some bad news. Someone in our family is dying. So how do we handle it as Christians?It is going to hurt. It is going to cause worry and fear. The death of a loved one is one of those time when we see what we are made of . . . what we truly believe.
So this morning I pray for my brother-in-law and the battle his mother is facing this morning. I pray for "the peace that surpasses all understanding" to rain down on him and his family. And for his mother I also pray for peace . . . the peace that comes through faith in Jesus. I pray that Jesus would have mercy on her and lavish her in His grace. And that she would receive Him into her heart, even at this late hour. May God bless you and keep you. Amen.
I Will Bring You Peace - Daniel & Catherine Lovett