Friday, December 10, 2010

Perfect Peace

I have a confession to make.  After 22+ years of living a Christian life I realize that I've gotten a little bit lost--lost my focus, if you will.  Like Peter I've focused on the winds and the waves of life and not on the miraculous power of Jesus Christ.

The very first scripture I memorized as a new Christian was Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee".  I've needed that scripture more times in my life than I want to think about.  But it is so true.  When we are focused on the Lord, knowing that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28), we can know that perfect peace.  We know that, whatever the circumstance, it is sent to us filtered through His loving hands for our good.  He will not leave or forsake us when we need Him most.

Many of our trials have come by our own hand.  If you place your hand in fire, you're likely to get burned.  Many come from our convictions--especially friction in relationships.  We've chosen to walk a path less traveled and have had many "concerned" family and friends take us to task for our beliefs...

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you." 1 Peter 4:12-14

In the exhilarating days of being a new Christian and receiving word from the Lord in how we were to live our lives we encountered much opposition and I loved Isaiah 540:17

 No weapon forged against you will prevail,
    and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
    and this is their vindication from me,"
      declares the LORD.


I have this print at home.  You cannot see him very well in this small picture but there is a man standing in the doorway of this lighthouse.  This picture represents my life in many ways--violent waves rage all around me and yet I am safe in the shelter of this "lighthouse"--My Lord.

So I am picking myself up out of the dirt and mire of doubt and unbelief and determining to live in faith that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13) once again.  Lately I've been called to endure many hard things--and I lost my "focus".  But the Lord is so very patient with me.  I may give up--but He never gives up on me!!


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you've heard this one, but the lighthouse print brought it to mind...

There was an old man sitting on his porch watching the rain fall. Soon, the water was coming over the porch and into the house.

The old man was still sitting there when his children arrived by boat to rescue him saying, "It's not safe; come with us."

The old man replied, "No, I trust in God: He will save me." After much discussion and argument, the boat left.

Not long after, the water had risen to the second floor, and another rescue boat came, and again told the old man he had to come with them.

The old man again replied, "I am a Good Christian: God will save me." So, with sadness in their hearts, that boat left him as well.

An hour later, the water was up to the roof and a third rescue boat approached the old man, again trying to get him to come with them.

Again the old man refused to leave, rising to his full height, waving a hand in the air and bellowing how he had walked the path of righteousness and God would never forsake him.

So as not to endanger themselves, that final boat took off for higher ground, with all aboard shaking their heads in dismay.

Soon after, the man drowned and when he finally saw God he asked him, "Why didn't you save me? Wasn't I a Good Christian?"

Shaking his head God replied, "You still don't get it: I sent three boats after you - you never got in."

GrammyK said...

Of course! That's one of my favorite jokes--I admit I've never heard it told quite so serious and ominous-like though. Not quite sure how it ties into my post of getting victory over doubt an disbelief???