Saturday, May 05, 2007

accepting and living in God's peace

John Michael Talbot at his blog has a wonderful piece on peace: The Road to Peace: John 14:1-6. You should read it, even if it means you don't read the rest of this post. Honestly!

God's peace for us came at a great cost in the Incarnation and sacrifice of love of God's Son Jesus for us. We enter in this grace of God, this gift, by faith and by faith we begin to live in the peace or shalom/wholeness God provides for humanity which will be the atmosphere we live in in the "sea change" that will take over the new earth someday.

In Jesus this begins now for us and we seek to bring it into this broken world now. Of course we need to live in it ourselves, individually and out of that in community, and from that in mission in Jesus to the world.

Living in this peace means I choose to trust and obey God no matter what. This involves looking intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, then letting our living be determined and shaped by that. This will be costly for us, as we follow the way of Christ. The way Jesus once for all set out for us, a new and living way, is blessed, but difficult. It is the way of the cross; it is the way of death to self and life to God.

I have been struggling lately over a number of problems and issues and have been consciously lacking in this peace. But God has been helping me to see what I need to see to take the next steps of faith and to turn away from that which is not helpful or view it better, in a different light. You have to come to that place where there is only one thing that really matters, and you're going to choose to follow and live in that. Of course this is a day by day exercise. Just because we seem to be more on track one day doesn't mean that we'll easily remain on course the next.

God's peace enables us to live in and experience his love; to be blessed that we might be a blessing to all around us. And as John Michael points out to us, God's work in all of this is creative. We need to trust him through a journey in which we'll need the peace of God that can keep our hearts and minds at rest and open when we don't understand.

What have you learned about this in your own life? Or what thoughts might you have?


Betsy Lin said...

I find that when I have the most peace, is when I can stand in His grace. My faith doesnt say "I believe" but rather " I find my rest in Him"
I have peace when I can take a moment and hold on to my suffering, allowing myself to feel pain so that I can feel God set me free. Also I feel that peace comes when our mind and our heart is one with God- much like the man in Mark 5- a man of many voices became one- and he found PEACE!!!

Ted Gossard said...

Betsy Lin, Great thoughts and very helpful. I hope others read your comment and seek to learn from it. Good words for us all.