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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Peace in the Middle of Our Troubles

Matthew 6:34 (ESV)
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I am in Singapore on vacation. It is a vacation that I have looked forward to for a long time. My wife and I are visiting our daughter, son-in-law and new grandson. Of course, the new grandson is the ultimate reason we are here.
I have looked forward to these days for months as if arriving here would make all my troubles go away. They haven’t. Each day has troubles. It is part of the curse of a fallen world. The things which plagued us in the US didn’t go away by coming to Singapore. They may be put out of our minds or they may be replaced with new troubles but we just cannot escape trouble.
Take for example the person who wins the lottery. These people may believe that their money problems are all gone. They may even say that all their problems have disappeared. Yet, history has proven that those who win large amounts of money may have even more problems afterwards than they did before. The problems they thought were insurmountable may seem small once they are gone. They have simply traded the troubles they had for new troubles.
The inability to escape trouble can be depressing. Most of us would like to believe that there is a day coming when all our troubles are gone. We speak of retirement, going fishing, playing golf , spending a day in a spa or some other leisure activity as if engaging in these activities will make troubles go away. Forgetting about a trouble is not the same as having victory over it. Jesus said:
John 16:33 (ESV)
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus came to give us peace in the middle of our troubles. He did not promise to take all our troubles away. Those who truly walk with Him daily are granted peace because they put the troubles in the hands of the one who has overcome the world. Simply put: Jesus can handle the fallen world we are in. We don’t need to be troubled with the troubles.
That’s hard to accept. Our nature demands that we hold onto our troubles because they belong to us. Jesus words tell us to release our troubles because He can truly take care of them. That goes against the language this world has taught us. The world says that your troubles are your own and you either hold onto them tightly or forget them through distractions. (These may include drugs, alcohol, sex or anything else which completely captures your attention.)
Christians are a peculiar lot. We say we can trust our eternity to our Savior but we are wont to trust the troubles of this day to Him.
Each day does indeed have enough troubles of its own. That is why each Christian must daily place his or her troubles in the hands of the man who calmed seas, raised the dead, fed 5000, healed the sick and came back from the dead. He has proven He has overcome the world.
Why not truly trust Him and place your troubles in His hands right now?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The world tries to mold us to view our life's troubles in certain manners, the Word of God, in certain other manners.  What should you and I do? If you are a believer, a follower of Christ Jesus, the Word's prescription is the way to go. Do NOT waiver between the two; for if we do that, we will be caught disorientated.  NOT only that, scripture, in the Book of James, said that double-minded persons cannot expect to receive from God.  Under such a scenario, peace, of course, is elusive.

So, if I do NOT waiver, I will get peace? While there are promises in Scripture, of God extending peace to believers; and we are told NOT to worry, conditions of the promises may need to be observed.

Of essence is the understanding that true peace is first had when we entered into salvation - be reconciled back to God; and then had when we are in agreement with God, or be practicing righteousness. This means we need to be agreement with the Word, and be led by the Spirit of Christ (= Holy Spirit).  If you go against the Word, of course, you can lose peace.  If you do not want to be led by the Spirit of God, again you can lose peace; the Spirit is always in agreement with God, if the Spirit's lead, you take not, you are likely to be in disagreement with God; peace you will lose.  Peace goes with agreement  with God; NOT directly correlated to whether or NOT one is in difficulty, trouble, or affliction.

Another that we must also understand, is we can still be needing to face trouble when we are in agreement with God.  In this case, there is no reason for you to be losing peace.  If you are losing peace, it is you lack the right understanding, and so, is deceived by the evil one.  On the other hand, you can be in trouble because you are in disagreement with God.  The issue is NOT with the trouble, but whether or not, you are in agreement with God. I have this article on my blogsite which you can read for a more thorough understanding of this subject of peace:

I just want, here, to elaborate a little on what to do, if you are in trouble as a result of your NOT agreeing with God, like you sinned or did the wrongful thing:

Firstly, it is right you first find your peace has suffered.  Why? Because your conscience is working.  Don't ignore your conscience, as is suggested by overly grace preachers (not referring to Ps Prentis, of course) who tell people that believers should ignore their conscience.  It is a wrong teaching.  Please, you cannot ignore or numb your conscience, and just psycho yourself, saying to yourself that you should not be out of sort or that your peace wanes NOT.

Secondly, you can get back your peace, but there is a thing you have to do, NOT nothing, as suggested by some.  It is a lie of the devil that you cannot get your peace back; you can.  If you would truly repent, confess and ask God for forgiveness, coming to Him with a broken and contrite heart in humility, the peace, in and of the Holy Spirit, can come back to you.  Although you cannot rewind time, to uncommit your sin or wrongful act, you can get back right with God, and once again be in agreement with God.  If you are in trouble because of your wrong, you have to do this, to be restored of peace, even if you do not come off your trouble immediately, or we say, you can be restored of your peace while still in trouble. And then you, trusting God, work with Him, in the hope of getting out of your trouble.

I have written this comment, more focussing on the title of Ps Prentis' article - "peace in the middle of our troubles".  Of course, on reading Prentis' article, you can argue that he is referring to challenges of life.  Even so, practicing righteousness is the must, and practicing righteousness is living in agreement with God.  And when you practise righteousness, the peace, in and of the Spirit, is yours, even when things are challenging.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions