As I write this newsletter to you, all signs around me point to the possibility of peace. The Christmas tree still glows in the background while strains of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear stream to me via Pandora. Everyone in the house has gone to bed, and our neighborhood has fallen into a quiet slumber. Yet even in these serene surroundings at the dawn of another New Year, I find myself at the computer-not really at rest.
You see, like many of you, I’m burdened by the events of the past month. The lives of innocents were taken in the United States, and their loved ones, friends, classmates, and neighbors will never be the same. Indeed, many of us feel like life cannot be the same after such a tragic event. As a parent and an educator, this heartbreaking incident has shaken me to the core. This is when I wonder again: will peace on Earth ever be possible?
I cannot explain why the shooting in Newton happened, but I do know the One who holds all the answers. It was to Him I cried out that devastating Friday. It is to the Lord that I have continued to pray each and every day since. It’s in Scripture that I sought a serenity that seemed impossible.
As always, I found solace in God’s Word. And the straightforward answer to my question came in a familiar portion of Scripture:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In John 16, Jesus gave His followers a glimpse of the season ahead of them. Life on Earth would be difficult, especially for those who choose to be faithful to God. But notice in this verse He also spoke of peace. How can that be possible with the promise of problems and pain? Only because the Lord Jesus overcame the power of sin and all its consequences! In Him we can find rest.
A few chapters earlier, Jesus reminded the disciples about the kind of peace He makes available:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
These words not only comfort me, but they also convict me. I’ve been singing songs about “peace on the Earth, good will toward men” for weeks, but do I truly believe this? Most importantly, how do my uneasy feelings impact those around me who desperately need the answer I should already know: Christ is in control! The Lord hasn’t lost command of His Creation; actually, He has been quite clear about the unsettled nature of life in a fallen world.
Yes, there will be trouble-but Jesus asks us to keep trusting. Some days will be frightening, but we are told to “fear not.” The only way this will be possible is by finding that peace the world can never provide. This kind of calm comes right from Heaven to each of our hearts and homes when we trust in Jesus-and in Him alone.
Please join Sonkist Ministries in praying for the people of Newton-especially for the comfort that only God can give.
Thought of the Month
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace . . .”