finding peace by Jarod…

excerpt taken from our december monthly update:

This past semester I took Systematic Theology and I have to admit that I dreaded taking it for various reasons.  I was pleasantly surprised during certain points during the class however.  One of those points is when we were studying the doctrine of sin.  As I was reading about sin’s effect on us, I was saying to myself, ”yeah I know that… and that…and that…and …do what? What’s this?  Wait a minute…” and then as I thought about it…this one point made sense.  The author wrote that one of the results of sin is restlessness. That’s when verses like Matthew 11:29-30 where Jesus says come to me all who are weary and burdened and find rest, and Hebrews 4 that describes rest of God’s people and how those who do not obey God will not enter God’s rest, and the hundreds of verses about having peace such as Philippians 4:7 where in Christ we find the peace of God that transcends all understanding come to mind. Then I thought of my own sins and truly saw how restlessness is a result of all of them.  My greed leads to un-satisfaction and drives me to try to obtain more…more recognition, more respect, more money…more, more, more. (One only needs to watch the commercials during this holiday season to see that the merchants want you to want more and more and more.)  Whereas in Philippians 4:13 we are told the we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength, and “all things” in the context of this verse (that is so often quoted out of context) is contentment which leads to peace.

I am to use all of God’s strength and power to be content (not complacent) with what I have, with my ministry, in my relationships, and most of all, in my relationship with Jesus.  It is in this context that we find peace – the opposite of restlessness.

In this peace that transcends all understanding we can truly know God and in so doing we are able to do what God commanded Israel during a siege where a foreign army threatened to destroy them in Psalm 46:10 …”Be still and know that I am God.”  It is in this moment that we get to see one of the greatest miracles in scripture, and it is when we are at peace with God that we get to see Him move in some of the greatest ways.  So during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, remember that stuff never satisfies and neither do myriads of activities.  These are all fine when put in their place, but Jesus came partly so that we’d be free of our restlessness and find peace with Him who formed and sustains us…forever!  Merry Christmas!

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