Thursday, October 31, 2013

The peace of Christ

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The Blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

—Edward Henry Bickersteth
Hymn writer
Peace, that which comes from above and is granted by God alone through Christ is not easy to define, but it definitely does not mean something like ‘all's well’ or ‘peace and quiet’ in the usual sense. Peace from God does not necessarily mean that there is no trouble anywhere in our life, nor that we are not faced with problems to which we cannot find a solution.

It's easier to talk about this peace that comes from God through Christ and is bestowed on us in prayer than it is to actually have it. Why? Because we usually talk about it when we are not in any great distress, emergency or need, but after we have been delivered from it. We look back in retrospect and thank God for the deliverance and find words of testimony to give about God's faithfulness.

What is the best definition of and the most convincing testimony to the ‘peace from above’?

When we are presently in distress, in danger, at risk, beset with problems we see no end of, when we are suffering persecutions, slander, unjust accusations, when no one believes us, when no one cares about us, and we are not sad, not unhappy, not anxious, not disturbed, not reproachful, uncomplaining, unmoved to anger or revenge, still hopeful, still forgiving, still loving our enemies, still seeking God’s Kingdom first and His righteousness, never giving in to despair or abandonment. When we are in this place, and can define ‘the peace of God which passeth all understanding’ not only by the word of our confession, but also by our passionlessness, then we have understood and accepted what that peace is. It's the same peace that Jesus knew when He was crucified and when He uttered with His last breath, ‘It is finished. Into your hands I commend my spirit.’ It is the same peace which Jesus gave to His disciples when He said, ‘My peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give.’

This is the peace of Christ.

1 comment:

Ed Underwood said...

Agree, but it's during the times when life is good that we can intentionally allow the Spirit to do the deepest work in our hearts to prepare us for the next storm. That is, at least my experience as a pastor and cancer survivor.