Monday, September 20, 2010

The Perfection of Peace


Jesus said to his disciples, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace.”

~John 16:33a (Msg).

How can anything in this life realistically be made perfect?

To ask it a different way, in a life that’s often far from peaceful, how do we achieve peace on a lasting stage?

It is known that God’s peace is above and beyond anything that can be found in this earthly life—from any other source. If this alone was factored in by the millions at their own internal war there would be millions more converted to Christ.

Why are there not more converts to this gospel promising much peace? Perhaps we ought to ask why there are many believers who still don’t know this peace that transcends our human understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).

Linking Courage with Peace

Jesus makes the close linkage, in John 16:33, that in courage to accept the world—but in that, to overcome it—we will know peace, this incredibly easy and childlike peace.

Courage, however, is almost a divisive thing. We place our courage awkwardly and our lives get even messier and torment becomes us even more than before. We shrink and don’t want to go back there, once bitten now twice shy.

The right courage is a surrendered, conditional courage—it’s a courage melded with godly wisdom. It’s a courage tempered with great portions of humility. It’s courage in meekness, sound within itself but not beyond—and ever balanced within—itself.

Where Peace Comes From

Peace comes when we reach the end of ourselves—when we have nothing further to ‘add’ to God (as if we could add to God anyway!) and we rest, simply, as if in the palm of the Almighty.

And belief in God—the Spirit that encapsulates the person and power of Jesus—is about peace, and peace in a way that is nothing like our conception of peace.

It’s peace in numbness. It feels like peace but it’s a feeling that feels like we shouldn’t feel. We cannot explain this thing, but we do know that somehow we have added confidence, self-belief, trust, patience, wisdom and understanding... the edge of God is made relevant in this.

And this is peace. It’s like no other. It’s totally perfect because we hold the tension of discontented situations with the resilience of heart to bear whatever will come.

And this only feeds our peace. Peace becomes then a safely confident peace.

This deep peace is purposed beyond ourselves. This Spirit is cavorting with our souls to produce in us new capability, and again, it’s beyond ourselves and anything we could do.

We are re-born each time the peace sweeps over and through us.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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