Paul writes to the Church in Corinth about orderly worship. He stresses to them that everything be done in a fitting and harmonious way. (I Corinthians 14:40) When we see disunity within the Body, we know this is not of God…for He is the God of peace. (Romans 15:33) As Believers, we need to be seeking balance and mutual agreement…not causing turmoil and commotion just to make a point. Many a Church has faced divided factions only to self-destruct rather than build bridges of unity. And Satan smiles every time a Church self-implodes rather than attempts to reconcile the Body.
In this contentious and ever argumentative world, it’s difficult to seek peace in every situation. But the key here is found in a verse in Hebrews 12:14, ” Make every effort to live in peace with all men and be holy.” Being holy means we live in a spiritual atmosphere where grace and mercy abounds despite the hostile environment around us. It’s where we consider others before ourselves and strive to be a peacemaker not a rabble-rouser.
I don’t know about you, but patience has never been one of my greatest attributes. I want something to happen now, not later…and I get antsy and anxious when I have to wait. But if you look carefully at this Scripture, you’ll see Micah concluded there are two things we need to do…watch and wait. So, what does it take to successfully watch and wait for the Lord? In a word – it takes trust. To trust in the Lord is not a one time, one size fits all event. Trusting in God is an ongoing, ever-growing, process of waiting in hopeful expectation and increasing belief that He will do what He says. Our job isn’t to manufacture the outcome…or job is to rest in Him, waiting and watching as He does the work in our life.
We find the disciples hunkered down, doors locked, fearing what might happen to them…when suddenly Jesus shows up! And during this short interaction these frightened men went from fainthearted to fearless. So what was it? It was the 3 “P”s. First it says that Jesus came and stood among them and showed them His hands and side. His presence was undisputable to them now…the Resurrection beyond doubt. Next was Jesus’s greeting, “Peace be with you!” This type of peace supersedes anything we can imagine…it is brought about by God’s infinite mercy, granting deliverance and freedom from all distresses. Finally, Jesus breathed on them and they received the power of the Holy Spirit. His presence, peace and power turned a rag-tag group of men into a force to be reckoned with.
The yearning we feel inside is a Jesus-shaped void. Although we try to fill it with lots of things…the spiritual thirst is still there. And it’s not until we have that “Coming to Jesus” moment, that the void can be filled. Matthew 5:5 tells us, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Quit trying to fill the hole inside you with junk, it’ll never work and only leave you more unhappy. Jesus is the only answer to finding peace in your life today.
Do you know where you’ll go when you die? If you’re a Believer, do you have the trust to confidently state, “Yes, I’m going to heaven.” Or do you stand there today just hoping you’ll make it? This verse should then refute that gnawing uncertainty in your mind once and for all. For when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we are reconciled and placed in right standing with God. And the peace brought about by this reconciliation to our Heavenly Father overshadows any doubt or fear our minds may have. So stand now in faith and righteousness through Jesus Christ our Lord and be assured of your eternal life.
Most of us have a hard time expressing our condolences to a friend that’s just lost a loved one. We stumble around, trying hard to say something that will bring comfort. But it’s only the Lord that can truly bring solace and peace during a time of anguish and mental pain. Probably one of the most uncaring things to say is, “I know how you feel.” No you don’t, and you never will. Grief and grieving is unique to everyone, and all of us will go through it differently. But with the Lord’s help, grief will be soothed… fears will be quieted… peace will still frantic thoughts…and over time, joy will return.
We are to live in harmony with all. Not with just those we like…not with those who only believe as we do. No, we are to live in peaceful co-existence with everyone. Jesus came preaching the Gospel of Peace, not that of elitism, isolation, or hatred. It’s a tough road though to love your neighbor as yourself…for many around us are unlovable. That’s why the second part of this verse is so important. We may not be able to change the unlovable around us, but we can change ourselves and how we interact with them. Sanctification or holiness is the ongoing process of becoming more like Christ Jesus everyday…of looking at all people – even the unlovable- through His eyes.
Make no mistake about it…as a Believer, the deep sense of well-being you feel today has been brought about by a loving and merciful Heavenly Father. And the next time before you pat yourself on the back for the great achievement you’ve just done…remember, that it’s only through Him that you’ve realized this success.