Secure in Christ
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 – emphasis in original)
As we close out 2021 and look to 2022 I think most of us, just as we did in 2020, are hoping and praying that COVID was behind us and the economy would settle down and get back to thriving. We wanted to be able to gather again as families and friends, to worship, visit and shop and entertain without masks or mandates. We wished for a return to happier times and less stress…a return to “normal,” whatever that means. To some degree we have been able to do so. But because we are fallen human beings, it never seems to be enough. We miss the peace because we are never content.
If we stop and ponder all those things mentioned as desiring to return to normal I think we’ll find that, for the most part, it’s the same every year, right? Take away masks, mandates, shutdowns, restrictions and all things COVID related and we still end up pretty much the same. It was in 2020 and 2021. But it was eerily similar in 2019, 2018, 2017…you get the picture.
There are always things that disrupt our plans, pursuits and peace. Jesus told us they would (John 16:33). COVID just magnified these things. He also promised us a peace that was ours for the taking but not the peace most of us continually desire…it would not be the world’s concept of peace (John 14:27). The world’s idea of peace is that everything goes smoothly and calmly defined by what we want or desire. But we live in a sinful, broken and troubled world that continues to deceive itself, each other and ourselves and then seek for the ever-elusive calm…“peace.”
The Peace that Christ gives is found only in Him and is in spite of the chaos, uncertainties, trials, losses, pain and death. Yes we can even have peace in the middle of all of these…even as we go through them.
I pray that you know Him because He offers the only real peace. All other so-called “peace” is only found when we manipulate or wait for the world and all it’s problem to go away, or at least settle down momentarily. His peace is permanent. The only thing permanent about the peace of the world is that it’s fleeting…always!
He came to give us faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love (I Corinthians 13:13). If we will learn to live in His Love by faith and with hope we will begin to know His peace. It is found when we choose to rejoice and give thanks in all things (Philippians 4:4-7) because we realize and live with Him on the throne of our hearts and lives. That’s what real love does…it is the only real love (1 John 4:19) and the only way to have real peace.
I want to share the following with you as an encouragement for your New Year in Christ! I think Oswald Chambers says it best in his New Year’s Eve devotional in My Utmost for His Highest, entitled,
The God of Israel will be your rereward. — Isaiah 52:12
Security from Yesterday. “God requires that which is past.” At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present.
Security for Tomorrow. “For the Lord will go before you.” This is a gracious revelation, that God will garrison where we have failed to. He will watch lest things trip us up again into like failure, as they assuredly would do if He were not our rereward. God’s hand reaches back to the past and makes a clearinghouse for conscience.
Security for Today. “For ye shall not go out with haste.” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, unremembering delight, nor with the flight of impulsive thoughtlessness, but with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.
Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him. (Italics and bold added here)
Here are four things you can do to live by faith, with hope and in His love to know the peace only found in God through Christ:
1) Give thanks to God every day and in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
2) Spend time with God in His Word and prayer…do it because you know how much He loves you and you want to know Him more and learn to worship Him alone and love Him with all your being (2 Timothy 2:15; Mark 12:29-30)
3) As you spend time with Him, ask Him to show you who you are in Christ and teach you to love yourself as Christ has recreated you to be (Ephesians 2:10)
4) As He teaches you who you are in Christ, learn to be content and confident in who He has made you to be and then give of yourself to love others just like He loves you and you love yourself (Mark 12:31; John 13:34)!
God literally has all the regrets of your yesterdays, the unknowns of your tomorrows and whatever you may face today! By his grace He can turn all of it for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28). Trust in Him every day!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – Don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow…leave them in God’s hands and trust Him. In so doing you can live TODAY and every day by faith in the peace, joy, hope and love found only in Christ!
Love and Lordship…Action Item –
- Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
- How is the past impacting TODAY? What do you need to do to let it go?
- How is the future impacting TODAY? What do you need to do to stop worrying?
- How can you live TODAY for Christ? In your life? Relationships? Work? Thoughts? Even your motives? This is where you will find His peace!
Have a Blessed New Year in Christ for this is what we have to look forward to… And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:5)
Check out the following or this related video for more on finding His peace…