Howdy day everyone! Boy, it feels good to be back on the blog! It’s felt like an eternity, though really it’s only been a few weeks.
Anyway, today I want to talk about these two P’s I keep stumbling upon in the Bible (bear with me non-believers.)
Persecution and peace.
As Christ’s followers, His disciples, we are to expect persecution. Namely, being hated, ridiculed, even killed for our faith and for standing up for truth. But why is it that no one in Christian circles really talks about that? John 14, John 16, James, 1 Peter are just a few places where persecution is mentioned. Those living now are not exempt from that. We in America may not deal with being killed for our faith just yet, but one thing is for certain: if we are living the way a Christian is supposed to live, we will experience persecution in some form.
So what is Christian living?
And as people who believe in the second coming of Christ, why does it seem like we really don’t believe He’s coming soon? If we did, wouldn’t our lives be different? Wouldn’t we be concerned with witnessing, with getting rid of sin in our lives, of making changes we need to make, of finding out truth from error?
There are so many bonkers beliefs out there amongst Christians. That’s why there are so many churches. So how do we know what’s true?
“Give me the Bible, holy message shining, Thy light shall guide me in the narrow way.”
That’s how we discover truth. By studying the book we believe is inspired by God. That is the only way to find true peace. I’ve really been struggling with certain teachings that are out there, and it took so long for me to realize I need to study God’s word for myself and not just take what people say as truth or hold onto any preconceived notions.
Knowledge is power, right?
So even amidst persecution, there is hope! That hope is found throughout the Bible. John 14 is a beautiful chapter on hope and promise. So even though we are to expect persecution, Jesus tells us not to be afraid, to not let our hearts be troubled.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 NKJV
How easy is it for me to let my heart be troubled! I feel like I’m troubled all the time. And I’m especially troubled whenever I hear or read about persecution. I get scared, discouraged, and even angry.
With all that trouble in my heart and countenance, what kind of example am I setting for others, for you?
How do I find peace amidst all the confusion and internal struggles?
Here’s something I found especially meaningful from a book called In Heavenly Places.
The Saviour’s life on this earth, though lived in the midst of conflict, was a life of peace…. No storm of satanic wrath could disturb the calm of that perfect communion with God. And He says to us, “My peace I give unto you.”
He left [the disciples] the peace which had been His during His life on the earth, which had been with Him amid poverty, buffeting, and persecution…Those who take Christ at His word and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest. The Lord says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
It is the love of self that destroys our peace. While self is alive we stand ready continually to guard it from mortification and insult; but when self is dead, and our life hid with Christ in God, we shall not take neglects or slights to heart….
When we receive Christ into the soul as an abiding guest, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds. There is no other ground of peace than this. The grace of Christ, received into the heart, subdues enmity; it allays strife and fills the soul with love. He who is at peace with God and his fellow men cannot be made miserable…. The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed influence all around. In Heavenly Places, 249
There are so many things unanswered, so much confusion to sift through. There are also so many truths to discover in God’s Word, truths that are waiting to be discovered if we only took the time to study and remove any preconceived ideas and misguided traditions of men. But as we delve into discovering those truths, we can rest assured that peace is given to us.