Tag Archives: Peace

How Do I Know If You Trust Jesus?

The other day in my last blog post I talked about people at the George Floyd protests carrying No Justice No Peace signs (as those found here) and I mentioned how ridiculous I find that slogan. I also mentioned these people don’t know peace and that peace dependent upon justice is worthless peace. But I left it at that because my previous post was a comparison of the circumstance of George Floyd and those of Jesus Christ and why I found it both ironic and sad that people would jump to champion the cause of George Floyd, but not so many jump to champion the cause of Jesus Christ.

Today I’d like to expound on those comments a little because I don’t want to just make a blanket statement without others understanding that I actually have thought about it, prayed about, studied it, and drawn some conclusions about it that I believe are in line with the Holy Scriptures. That and I really do think it is something for all of us (especially me) to consider.

But the way I’d like to explain those comments is by answering a question that anyone might ask of me. So I’d like to propose that a question one might ask of me is how do I know if you (or the person asking the question) really and truly trusts Jesus Christ? I could have titled today’s post “Do You Have Trust Issues?” but perhaps if I explain it from my perspective it will ring a little truer.

So lets start out with the answer before I get to the logic and explanation. The answer is simple. By observing your level of PEACE with life. However, allow me to explain that by trust I don’t mean the way you trust your bank to keep your money safe. I mean a faith that is unwavering and unshaken. A faith that cannot be moved. The trust I am talking about takes all of your heart, and all of your mind, and all of your soul, and all your strength (Mark 12:30). The trust I am talking about takes place on God’s terms and not on man’s (or our) terms. And likewise, when I say peace I am not talking about the human definition of mutual harmony between countries, friends, and neighbors. The peace I am talking about is inexplicable. We are told it passes all of our understanding. It is literally incomprehensible peace. And it is peace that comes from God (John 16:33). Your level of TRUST in God (the person of Jesus Christ) is directly proportional to the level of PEACE you experience within your life.

So how do I know this? Well first of all allow me to debunk the myth that peace is somehow tied to justice. If I am to assume that those who brandish this slogan mean that we cannot have peace without justice, then clearly they are wrong. Justice is indicative of a moral or righteous code of conduct. And there are injustices all over the world each and every day. How about the injustice of abortion? Something that bothers me greatly. But my peace is not dependent upon it. By point of reference, those that brandish the slogan are usually talking about what they would define as justice not what would necessarily be just within the eyes of God. If by their slogan they mean we cannot have peace without first having their brand of justice, then I submit to you it is a lost cause and we will never have peace. As long as justice is arbitrary and defined by the whims of man then peace will be elusive. We are told that vengeance belongs to the Lord (Romans 12:19) and that we are not to be given over to wrath. So clearly my peace isn’t (or shouldn’t be) tied to whatever justice I find or experience here on earth.

On the other hand if if those that brandish this slogan mean that they will not allow peace without justice, then once again I would submit to you there will be no peace here on earth. How can there be when we’ve tied it to some warped sense of justice? I am almost positive that those that brandish the slogan would have a problem when I tell them that I find those that call for the destruction of Israel, unjust. I am sure they would have a real problem with my views on abortion and how I find that practice unjust. I’m sure they would have a problem when I point out the unjustness of a cake decorator in Colorado (story here) being taken to court for not making an LBGTQ cake because it is contrary to his faith while at the same time they are calling for the tearing down of crosses (an example here) all over America. So whose justice are we talking about before we make peace not war? Certainly not what I (and hundreds of thousands of others) find to be just. Are we to go without peace for the sake of others? Or have these fools mistakenly tied peace to justice because it furthers their world view? (Just to be clear, I’m going with the latter).

So peace is not dependent upon justice, but what is it dependent upon? I would submit to you that peace is dependent upon trust. So how do I know this? Well I believe it is born out in Holy Scripture. Take Psalm 18:2 for example. What is your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your very salvation, if not your peace? Is He not your place of refuge? Where all your needs are met? Where you find tranquility and where you are safe from all terrors? Is He not your PEACE?

And how do you obtain that PEACE? Through TRUST of course. You observe this almost everywhere in life. Missionaries exhibit this behavior every day of their lives. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Missionary friends in seemingly impossible circumstances. And yet totally at peace. They look at you and say “God WILL provide.” And they know this because they trust Him.

I don’t lose my peace because God is my VENGEANCE, God is my FORTRESS, God is my SALVATION, God is my ROCK, God is my EVERYTHING and I TRUST Him. And when my trust wanes, and worry creeps into my life, and it seems like terror is closing in, I cry out to Him to help me in my unbelief (Mark 9:24).

So how do I know if you trust Jesus? I look at the level of peace you exhibit in your life. The more peace, the more trust. And the more trust, the more peace there will be. Try it yourself and see if I’m right.

Our Strength

Psalm 68:18-20, 28, 35 (NASB)
19  Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,
The God who is our salvation.  Selah.
20  God is to us a God of deliverances;
And to God the Lord belong escapes from death.

28  Your God has commanded your strength;
Show Yourself strong, O God, who have acted on our behalf.
35  O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary.
The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people.
Blessed be God!

I continually find that life is much bigger than I am.  I can find myself overwhelmed by the concerns and demands that can come.  It is to easy to linger in the context of fear, doubt and weariness.

I always am reminded and find comfort in the Truth (His Word)that God, my Heavenly Father is with me, for me, and most importantly in me, to work around me, always being my best Solution for every deficiency I have; every need I have.

There is much comfort in knowing HE is always there and I can never ask for too much or too often.

 Psalm 71:3  Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come;
You have given commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.

Insert your needs and concerns into these unfailing Words from God, and find the supply, wisdom, help and peace He always gives.

“The God of all comfort” is near,

Mitch

The LORD, My Keeper

Psalm 121:5-8 (NASB)

5 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

For those who are believers and followers of Jesus Christ, the LORD has promised to “keep” us in this life. HE is uniquely qualified and alone possesses the critical capabilities to do so. He knows everything there is to know about us. Because this is true, He is able to design and carry out the strategies that “keep”.

Psalm 139:1-6 (NASB)
God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience.

1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.

3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

4 Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

5 You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

HE is “intimately acquainted” with all of me / us and that information should blow our minds, even as it did King David in verse 6. To think that He is acquainted with me, an infintessimaly small speck in the context of an infintessimaly big universe, IS mind boggling. The Hebrew word translated “acquainted” in verse 3 is “sakan”, literally meaning “acquainted, knowledgeable to the degree that HE can be of great benefit to us”. (Source: Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, 5532, NASB)

So, what does He know?

That is for “Part Two” coming soon.  But do read and meditate on these passages over and over.   Let God’s Spirit cause this truth to penetrate your soul.  Take comfort that the most significant personality in the universe knows you, loves you infinitely and is ready to care for you perfectly.  Such peace, rest and quietness this brings, and all of it a gift through the person of Jesus Christ.  Savor, and be forever blessed.

Indebted,

Mitch

 

Are You Walking Through Fire?

Fire Walking has been a test of a person’s mettle for several thousands of years (or so the claim goes).  The afore referenced Wikipedia article places it at around 3,215 years old.

Today, many people attend seminars that supposedly help them build confidence by walking across glowing embers.  You can find a number of them with this search here.

The first one that showed up on my list (your mileage may vary)  (Firewalking Institute of Research and Education) suggests that:

“In just one four-hour seminar, you can discover your inner strength, power and confidence. Journey with us through the fire, and you’ll discover an exhilarating world where anything is possible. You’ll be guided through overcoming your fears, building your inner strength and finally, after a calm and confident walk across the red-hot coals, claiming the life of your dreams on the other side! You will profoundly understand that you can do anything you want.”

This quote is from their Seminars page.  Many of the other Self-Help, Motivational, Fire Walking symposiums will tell you the same thing in a very similar fashion, but with different words.  They are all here to help you gain confidence and change your life!

I can’t help but wonder though, if any of the gurus that guide these self-help events know about the most impressive Fire Walkers in all of history?  That would be my friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  You can read the accurate story of their encounter here.

You see my friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not just walk across some glowing embers that someone had spread out on the sand, they were cast, bound, into an oven that was so fiery, and so hot, that it literally consumed those that cast them into it (Daniel 3:22).  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego really and truly knew what it meant to walk through the fire.

I also can’t help but wonder if any of these self-help gurus are sensitive to the plights of folks all around them that Walk Through the Fire each and every day?  These would be the folks that face life’s most challenging situations head on without any or little support from those around them.

I know such people.  A coworker and friend actually.  I saw my coworker the other day, as I do most days, and he asked me what my plans were for the weekend.  I began to outline a weekend with family and friends spent at a local area theme park where we were looking forward to fun, and shows, and fine dining.  But I noticed that he had something much more troublesome on his mind.  So I paused and asked him about his plans for the weekend..

And that is when he relayed to me his story, a story he told me that no one else at work had heard yet.  My friend told me that for the past year he has been struggling to keep his marriage, and his family intact.  His wife has asked him for a divorce and he was facing some very difficult decisions regarding his home, his daughter, and his very future.  This weekend, he told me, he was going to have to sit down and have a discussion with his mother and ask to move back in with her.  And let me add some more relevancy to the story, my friend is an older gentleman and I gather his daughter is college/career age and we are talking an impact of a  marriage that spanned decades coming to an end.

My friend is Walking Though the Fire right now.  And he is walking through fire that is hotter, and more trying, and more damaging than anything the Firewalking Institute of Research and Education would ever have him walk through (or across, as the case may be).  He is walking through life changing, life impacting, and life scarring fire.  Fire that will try his faith and his very foundations in life.

So regular readers of this blog may ask the question, what exactly is your friends life foundations?  Well, he is a Theist.  He believes in God.  He gave his life to Jesus Christ some 44 years ago.  And he has grown in the Lord over those years and today serves as a Deacon in his church.  He was raised in a Christian home, and I believe (based upon his active Church life) that he attempted to establish his home as such as well.

And yet God is allowing him to Walk Through the Fire.  Why?  Why does God allow His children to encounter some of the deepest, darkest, and most trying times in life?  I believe there are several reasons, but one very compelling reason is that when standing before the Judgment Seat of God, no one will be able to claim that God favored those whom he loved in such a way as to provide them an unfair advantage in their path to seek him out.  As in the case of Job of old, God says to Satan (or anyone else who will listen) “Have you considered my servant …”?

God has allowed people to Walk Though the Fire since the beginning of time.  God did not take away the fire walk from Shadrach, Meshach, or Abednego, rather he allowed them to pass though it to show that he was God.  And what was their response?  It is found in Daniel 3:16-18.  GOD IS ABLE TO DELIVER US!  They knew that God could deliver them.  BUT (and that is a very important but), If he does not, WE STILL WILL NOT BOW DOWN.  Rock solid Faith.  Even when faced with the fire, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, stood on their Faith in God, no matter what.

Every time I begin to think my life is not as good as it could be, I come across a friend or a coworker, who shows me what it is really like to Walk Through the Fire all the while keeping their Faith.

If you are Walking Through the Fire today (like my friend and coworker), I pray God’s Peace, and His Mercy, and His Love, and His Grace would touch you in such a way that you would have to know you have been touched by the hand of God.  And I pray that God would carry you safely to the other side.  BUT, If he does not, I pray that like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego you would KNOW that he still is God.