1 January 2016

My Peace I Give You

(Gospel e-Letter - January 2016)

The peace that Christ gives us is genuine and enduring, the peace of the world is shallow and short-lived.

Jesus did not come to the world to bring political stability among the nations. Despite all the efforts and peace treaties, humanity has never found rest. The world that rejects the Prince of peace is destined to live without peace. There were wars in the past, there are wars today, and they will continue to the very end. Whether it is strife within families or hostilities between nations, cultures and religions, there will be no end to conflicts as long as sin, jealousy and hatred continue to reign in the human heart.

The disciples of Christ are not exempt from trouble. They often find themselves entangled in conflicts even though they do their utmost to live in peace with all people. Moreover they also suffer because of their loyalty to Christ. He spent his life doing good to all, and yet he was hated and crucified because he exposed the world’s sin and hypocrisy. Since Christians carry his name, they cannot expect to be treated any better than their Master. Just as the world rejected Jesus, it will also persecute his disciples.  The peace of Christ is most certainly not a pleasant vacation in this rebellious land.

What then is the peace that Christ gives? First and foremost, the Lord Jesus came to reconcile man to God. Peace with God is humanity most pressing and urgent need. Sin makes us God’s enemies! Unless sin is taken away, we have nothing to look forward to except for his wrath and condemnation. Jesus brought reconciliation by his death on the cross. All those who believe in him are justified, right with God, and therefore at peace with their Maker.

In addition to peace with God, the Lord Jesus gives his disciples the peace of God. Jesus teaches them to exchange their anxieties and worries with prayers and a child-like trust in God, their loving Father, who has perfect control of all things. Why should they worry when God is taking care of them? God does not always calm the tempest around them, but he calms their hearts  and grants them an inner peace that surpasses understanding.

Jesus’ disciples can face the future with confidence because they know him who holds the future in his all-powerful, sovereign and gracious hands. They are confident that the Lord will keep his word. The final chapter of their story is happy for the Lord Jesus will bring them to the eternal peace of his Father’s House, just as he has promised.