Bad circumstances, bad people and bad news make me want it. The more I survey the landscape of the sinfulness and brokenness we are all a part of, I look forward to our eternal heavenly home that Jesus is preparing for us so we can be with Him forever. A place where there will be no more sorrow, suffering or sin. A place where bad things will be eliminated, good things will be perfected and the best things will be unveiled. Our citizenship is in heaven, and God has put a longing in us for our homeland. When it’s hard here, let’s take heart and remember: He is preparing a place for us, and preparing us for a place.
One of the most exhausting things in all of life is trying to be in control of your life. Things simply will not always happen the way we want them to, and the more we try to force them to, the more worn out and weary we will become. But there is good news for frustrated control freaks like us: God rules and reigns over the cosmos for the good of His people. So… Step off the throne; that’s where He sits. Step away from the wheel; that’s His to turn. Step out in faith; that’s when His rest comes. Watch the frustration and exhaustion melt away when you operate by this truth: God is in control; we can stop trying to be.
You will never experience real peace until you rest in God’s grace. Anything else results in some version of regret for your past, pressure to measure up in the present, or worry about what might happen to you in the future. Peace is elusive when we look to ourselves to make things right because there is always this ever-present feeling that we are not doing enough. Indeed, we cannot do enough. Nor do we need to, for Jesus has done it all. Resting in God’s grace means trusting that Jesus forgives, Jesus frees and Jesus is faithful to provide. Herein is peace found: All I need to be and do rests on all Jesus is and does for me.
At His first coming, Jesus took our place so we can be with God. At His second coming, Jesus will take us to a place where we can be with God. We live in the present between His two appearances: when He came to live, die and rise for us, and when He will return for us. It’s hard now. It’s sad now. It’s messy now. Yet it’s not without peace, hope and joy … because it’s not without Jesus. Jesus came to make us right with God, He is with us so we can make it through this world, and He is returning to make all things as they should be. Take heart! For though things aren’t yet perfect, the day is coming when they will be.
To be a peace-maker, we must first be a peace-experiencer. When we put our faith in Jesus, we immediately experience peace with God and increasingly experience the peace of God. With our sin no longer separating us from Him, we are then able to be instruments of peace in the lives of other sinners around us. We do this by proclaiming the gospel message and reminding those in conflict of the precious promises made to those who let His peace rule in their hearts instead of being ruled by their sin. Today, let us strive to bring people together with each other and people together with God.
What is going on? Why is this happening? When will it be over? Where is God in all of this? Life may not be working out the way we hoped it would or wanted it to, but God is doing a thousand things for us today even if we don’t have our spiritual eyes locked in on any of them. Our experience may seem pointless and be painful, but we can be confident that He is walking with us and working for us. We don’t have to make sense out of everything that is going on or that we are going through; but we do need to trust that God is tirelessly at work in ways that would make sense if we knew all that He knows.
As we trust Jesus to come through for us, we will be filled with peace when we’re running low, renewed with spiritual energy when we’re running out, helped through difficulty when we’re running down, and kept steadfast when we feel like running away. This is our hope in Jesus: the best is yet to come. Let us believe it, expect it, anticipate it and await it to come true. Let us watch for the daily doses of His grace to appear when we need them. And let us regard the eternal pleasure of heaven with Him as something wonderful on the calendar that is certain to come at the appointed time. Because it is. Because it will.
Some storms build slowly. Some storms develop quickly. Some storms end quickly. Some storms disappear slowly. But… No matter how great or lasting the storm that arises in your life, Jesus rules in absolute control over when it rages and when it ceases. It doesn’t get in the way of His plan working out; it’s a way of working out His plan. Even storms serve His purposes for good! Listen… If you trust Jesus for eternal life, then trust Him during everyday life. And if the storm doesn’t scare Him, it shouldn’t scare you either. Because you are in the boat together, and He’s already promised to get you to the other side.
The weights we carry around inside of us come in many shapes and sizes. We face an ongoing onslaught of worry, uncertainty, fear, overwhelm, discontentment, indifference, pressure, grief, unrest, outrage and discouragement. Within these categories are countless daily instances which can let us down, get us down, put us down, shut us down, hold us down and run us down. But… There is a Burden-Bearer we can turn to for help for the stresses and messes of life. Nothing is too intense, too great, or too difficult for Him to replace with peace, hope and rest. Today, cast your cares on Jesus. They aren’t too heavy for Him.
People go to great lengths to safeguard their money, health, jobs, computers, phones, homes, families, and minds against dangers that threaten their well-being. They look for security in a variety of places like their bank account balances, home alarm systems and workplace seniority. But all of the security measures people take have one thing in common: they can fail at any time, which means they don’t really offer security at all. Real security is having something which guarantees a good future for you that can never be lost by you or taken from you. And that kind of security is only found in the love of Jesus.
No matter how tough we are, removed we are, indifferent we are, or protected we are, there are real threats to our peace of heart and peace of mind. In this world, we will have troubles. But Jesus entered our world of troubles so we could have our peace restored, now and forever. This brings peace: Jesus has overcome the world, is with us as we live in the world, provides all that we need in this world, and promises to come back to deliver us from this world! If you trust that He can handle sin, death and Satan to give you eternal life, then trust He can also help you through all the issues you face in everyday life.