Here I am, honest as always . . . read on.
We are in the 26th day of this Morning Briefing series called 'THRIVE.'' The goal: live with intentional faith and action, and we will not just barely eke out our existence during Covid-19, but come out stronger. Is that even possible?
Maybe - if we learn from Paul, who wrote to those who were being daily persecuted for their faith. Not to be defeated by evil that comes at us, we are meant to stand, and stand strong. We have looked at Paul's letter to the Ephesians the last couple days:
Belt of Truth on? Check.
Breastplate of Righteousness on? Check. More from Ephesians Six . . .
Now let's check your boots.. "your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace."1
'Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace'? Paul, Man - you gotta speak plainly. What are you saying about feet and peace?'
We recall that Paul was not instructing the folks at Ephesus how and when to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, he was preparing them to stand strong when battered by evil, when afflicted by hardship.
Though I grew up with faith in Jesus Christ, I didn't really get that being a Christian
meant a sense of knowing, a forward-looking assurance of God's presence
not just now, but forever.
And here and now, to be honest - I do not always feel at peace.
My emotional self undermines what I would stake my life on, intellectually.
I know that I know that I can rest my case with God,
with Jesus the leader of my life,
regardless if I feel depressed or anxious or wondering about the future.
What's true is true. Period.
At the end of the day, Jesus wins.
How I would have loved to have been there with the disciples when Jesus looked into their faces and eyes, ‘Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, give I to you; do not let your heart be troubled, and do not let it be afraid.’2
But here I am, honest as always . . . Peace is knowing that God has settled the score, he knows how the story ends, and I have cast my lot with him.
The peace of God is a defense against evil because it gives you and me strength; it provides stability and confidence, and it cannot be taken away. What's more, the peace of God guards our hearts and minds. During this unsettled time, I never get far away from these instructive words,
‘Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard you heart and mind, and keep you quiet and at rest,
as you trust in him.’3 What a concept!
Indeed, we can stand firm and strong when temptation or doubt, when fiery darts of condemnation or anxiety-producing fears, attempt to get the better of us. We stand firm in the confidence of who we are in Jesus Christ, our feet shod in the gospel of peace . . . Jesus, who will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on him.4
I wish you peace ... in all ways, always~
1 - Ephesians 6.15
2 – John 14.27
3 – Philippians 4.6-7
4 – Isaiah 26.3