S73P7 – A simple Gospel: a respite of peace

Acts 10:36-39a

As for the word that [God] sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.

The work was stressful and had caused me much misery for more than half a decade.  Once I got saved I prayed for God to deliver me from that job, but it would take 7 years for that to happen.   My way out was to return to school at the calling of God, and my acceptance letters could not arrive soon enough.  I remember thinking that the waiting would kill me.  If none of my selections chose me, it would be at least another year before I again would have the opportunity to move on from that place.  Once I received my first acceptance letter and knew for sure that I would be leaving, I began to realize how oppressive that environment had become.  What tipped me off was the incredible peace I felt when I knew that I was sure to be delivered.

The good news of peace through Jesus Christ is just like the good news I received in that first acceptance letter because it is a sure thing.  More than that, the peace we receive through this good news is all-encompassing.  Christ gives us peace to endure the things of this world because we know He can deliver us from every oppression.  That peace also comes because we know we will be delivered from this fallen world one day.  We have been delivered from sin’s rule of law, and we now live under grace.  The message of the good news is that rest from all this imperfect chaos awaits us.  It awaits us not only in the eternity beyond this world but also every moment we need to call upon it while here.  What incredibly good news to receive in this system of things!

The yoke of Christ is easy because He bears the load.  This does not mean that we will not have hardship, trial, difficulty and stress in this world.  What it means is that we will have his peace to make it through those times unscathed.  We can endure every hard time and still emerge more encouraged, more on fire and more prepared for the next. Instead of tearing us down and making us weaker, these times build us and sharpen us because we have peace beyond understanding to endure and even benefit them.  The good news is that the peace of Christ is already ours now and remains ours forever.  Father, remind us daily of this good news that we would walk in the peace of Jesus Christ to emerge victorious in all things, and remind us of the eternal rest You have promised awaits us.