Thursday, November 7, 2013

Unbreakable Peace

Doing my homework for a theology class and rediscovered this golden egg:

 “I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Comforter instead of me*—and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit—He will teach you much, as well as remind you of everything I myself have told you. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:25-27(NLB)

The peace which Christ gives is infinitely more valuable than that which the world gives. The world’s peace begins in ignorance, consists with sin, and ends in endless troubles; Christ’s peace begins in grace, consists with no allowed sin, and ends at length in everlasting peace. As is the difference between a killing lethargy and a reviving refreshing sleep, such is the difference between Christ’s peace and the world’s... Let not your heart be troubled, for any evils past or present, neither let it be afraid of any evil to come. Note, Those that are interested in the covenant of grace, and entitled to the peace which Christ gives, (and) ought not to yield to overwhelming griefs and fears. - Matthew Henry

Peace Defined (by someone smarter than me): The Meaning of Peace. In English, the word "peace" conjures up a passive picture, one showing an absence of civil disturbance or hostilities, or a personality free from internal and external strife. The biblical concept of peace is larger than that, and rests heavily on the Hebrew root slm, which means "to be complete" or "to be sound."  God alone is the source of peace, for he is "Yahweh Shalom". The Old Testament anticipated, and the New Testament confirmed, that God's peace would be mediated through a Messiah. Peace with God came through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The verb conveys both a dynamic and a static meaning"to be complete or whole" or "to live well." The noun had many nuances, but can be grouped into four categories: 

  • (1) salom [l'v] as wholeness of life or body (i.e., health); 
  • (2) salom [l'v] as right relationship or harmony between two parties or people, often established by a covenant 
  • (3) salom [l'v] as prosperity, success, or fulfillment (see Lev 26:3-9 ); 
  • (4) salom [l'v] as victory over one's enemies or absence of war. 

The peace my Jesus gives is not rooted in my present circumstance.
The peace my Jesus gives is not about how I feel or what I think.
The peace my Jesus gives has nothing to do with my heath, my work or my bank account.

My peace begins with God's grace. HIS extension of Himself in ways I could never deserve and can hardly imagine. My peace begins with Jesus. Not earthly blessings. Not a life time of days filled with nothing by butterfly kisses and rainbow filled skies. God's peace does not mean that my life will be stress free or strife free. Real life has ebbs and sways. There is good and bad, easy and not so easy, songs of praise and rivers of tears. Sometimes I see God's hand at work, and I think "wow, that is amazing. Isn't the way God worked all of that out so cool!" Other times, there are moments when all I  can think is "I will never understand this. It's so wrong. It's so unfair. It's so not the way it should be!"

God's peace does not solve the struggle of this human life. God's peace does not sugar coat hard times, heart aches, and the valleys of darkness that we sometimes walk through. God's peace doesn't mean that I will always understand, always be happy and that things will always be fair. But God's peace does remind me that this is not my home. This is not my final destination. This is not how the story ends. And I am NEVER ALONE!

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