Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | January 20, 2015

January 20, 2015 “”Know Peace or ‘No Peace'”

“My people are broken—shattered!—and they put on Band-Aids, Saying, ‘It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.’ But things are not ‘just fine’!” (Jeremiah 6:14- The Message Bible)

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body.” (Colossians 3:15)

Good Morning Sisters and Brothers in Christ!

Has anyone ever suggested to you, “If there really IS a God, then why is there so much strife and suffering in the world? ” Or, in similar fashion, you might be challenged with the thought, “If God is all-powerful and is the ‘Prince of Peace’, why doesn’t God put an end to this terrorism in the world?” On the surface, these seem to be legitimate questions. Surely an all-powerful God could intervene and see to it that we all just “get along” with one another without all the killing and strife. If God is as compassionate as is claimed, then surely this God could see to it that suffering, disease, poverty, and all the problems of the world would simply be banished by his decree. Where is this happiness and peace of which scripture speaks?

Let’s suppose, for a bit, that God did intervene on all such matters. The first question that would arise would be, “What becomes of that treasured commodity of free-will?” Everyone I know cherishes it, but to live in a world where every action and its outcome is determined by God’s intervention precludes the possibility of anyone truly acting freely. Living in a world without consequence means that there is no real “freedom”. The perceived “happiness and peace” people so value would not really be there…not to be discovered, not to be savored, for it would be valueless. It comes, not because it is just given to us by a benevolent God so we may live blissful, carefree lives. It is only truly experienced by being in a right relationship with Him. The great Christian author C.S.Lewis stated,

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”    

Putting spiritual “band-aids” on issues and covering over a sin-infected wound will not make things “just fine.” The fact of the matter is, we do live in a sin-filled world. There are consequences to all actions, be they good or bad, and the only true peace and happiness to be found is to be found in a right relationship with the God who desires relationship with us, and not mere oversight over our actions and indirect intervention when things don’t go as we might desire. Relationships, if they are to be meaningful, involve intimate interaction. God is ready and desirous to have such a relationship with each one of us. Open your heart to His most gracious invitation, and you will come to know the peace of Christ which passes all understanding. Let’s pray!

Gracious Lord; Calm my troubled heart with the blessed assurance of Your abiding presence in my life. Fill me with that peace that passes understanding which You alone can provide. This I pray in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen!

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