"How are you?"
Many times I’ve heard my husband answer this way: “Any better and I’d be dead.”
People often look at him funny, but he means it. That’s how sure he is that his forever-home is in heaven, where peace reigns and no more pain exists.
On the very day my father was told about his terminal diagnosis, he skipped over the earlier steps of the grieving process and quickly moved into acceptance. I think he may have blinked only twice before turning his attention to me. “Patricia,” he said. “I need you to call my lawyer, my pastor and my friend who owns a funeral home. It’s time to prepare.”
One person said he was in such shock that he wasn’t letting himself feel. Weeks later, another person told me that since his cheerful demeanour hadn't wavered he must be in denial of what was happening. I thought about those things as I helped him prepare for the end of his life but a few short months later, as we laid his earthly body to rest, I knew the truth. He had peace—real peace—about where he was going.
Part of our armour, as warriors for Christ, are the “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15 NIV). This means two things to me. 1. We’re ready at a moment’s notice to tell others about the peace we have, because of our salvation. 2. We are at peace in knowing where we’re going after our short vapour of life here on earth. We own peace, because of what Jesus did for us!
We can attain authentic peace only when we give ourselves wholly and completely to God. After that, it's easy to tell others about the peace we've been given!
It’s a nice dream to think that we will achieve world peace -- beauty pageant participants have spoken about it for decades -- but in this fallen world is that a reality we'll ever achieve? Nope.
We are to live in peace with others, if at all possible, but no where does the bible say to gain peace under any circumstance. We must not be shy to tell the truth and stand fast to what is morally and biblically right.
God didn’t promise us an easy peasy time on this earth. John 16:33 - (NIV) - spells this out bluntly. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Why should we take heart and feel His peace surround us? Because He’s still in charge! Inside that knowledge lies perfect peace. “The peace that passes all understanding”, which is mentioned in more than one verse but of which my favourite, is written in … Philippians 4:6-7.
“Do not be anxious about anything, (lets face it. The author, Paul, wouldn’t mention anxiety except that he knew we’d have that issue. He did and we do too.) but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the PEACE of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
What an incredible promise!!
To recap so far— the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, and the Feet Fitted and Ready with the Gospel of Peace — all important parts of our warrior armour!
This just gets more and more exciting!
Next: The Shield of FAITH!
Have a great last two weeks of August everyone!