Perfect Peace 3/18/20

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

There are many different definitions of peace. We may most often think of peace as the absence of something: conflict, trouble, disruption, strife. God tells us that peace is also the presence of something: reconciliation and fellowship with Him.

The external conditions of peace come and go. I sometimes find this to be a challenge. As a former project manager, I like things structured, scheduled, and organized. But often, as at the current time, this doesn’t happen. The kind of peace that God gives us through Christ, however, is constant and unmoving. The apostle Paul said that he had learned to be content in whatever situation he found himself. He said: “I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” This was something he had learned. At the center of his contentment was peace; peace with God.

As Jesus was preparing to go to the cross, He told His disciples: “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.” (Jn 14:27) Paul again tells us that we “have peace with God through our Lord Christ Jesus.” Jesus bore our sins on the cross, and the wrath of the Father against our sins was poured out on Christ. Now there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

I think this is the secret that Paul had learned, and it certainly was the Gospel that he preached. As we go through life, on the mountain tops and in the valleys, the peace we have in Christ never leaves us. Knowing we have peace with God, not just today but through all eternity, gives us a strength and a joy that the world cannot take away. Knowing that our peace with God is based on the completed work of Christ, we have the assurance of eternity in His presence.

Rather than being overwhelmed by circumstances, the images of Christ dying on the cross for us, the empty tomb, and Christ ascending to the Father, should fill us with the deep, deep love of Jesus. The light of Christ shines not only above the darkness, but it also shines in the darkness and in us. He lights the path we are to follow to bring Him glory and honor. Praise God for the gift of His peace that passes all understanding. Amen.

Pastor Mike

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