Even Better Than God’s Promises…
- by Scott
In the Christian faith, much is made of God’s promises. And rightfully so.
But sometimes we go a little overboard. Do a Google search and you’ll see all kinds of lists and categories of promises, or which promises to remember when you’re going through which kind of trial.
All of that is fine and good, but not all of the promises in Scripture are personal, and not all are for us right now. And they certainly aren’t magical incantations or mathematical formulas where you do ‘x’ and God will do ‘y’.
But there are things that are better than God’s promises.
I know, bold statement, quite possibly bordering on heresy. But bear with me.
The last week or two have been a Rich Mullins-type for me musically. Introspective. Expressive. Open. Waiting. Hoping. His song That Where I Am has this line in it:
In the world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace
The last part is from John 14:27:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.(NIV)
It struck me: this was not a promise. This wasn’t a future hope. This was better than a promise. Jesus wasn’t telling his disciples he would, some day, give his peace to them. He GAVE it to them. He left us his peace.
It wasn’t just the definition of peace that we are accustomed to. It wasn’t the lack of problems, or lack of conflict. This was the customary ‘shalom’ they greeted one another with (peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility) as a pleasant, hopeful wish. The Adam Clarke Commentary discusses this as the middle part of the verse:
Not as the Jews, in empty wishes: not as the people of the world, in empty compliments. Their salutations and benedictions are generally matters of custom and polite ceremony, given without desire or design; but I mean what I say; what I wish you, that I will give you. To his followers Jesus gives peace, procures it, preserves it, and establishes it. He is the author, prince, promoter, and keeper of peace.
So during this pregnancy, through the ups and downs of emotions, with the frustrations in navigating our healthcare system, with all the coming changes, challenges, and at times chaos…that is part of how we are making it through, and how we will make it through it all. His peace was already given.
In the Christian faith, much is made of God’s promises. And rightfully so. But sometimes we go a little overboard. Do a Google search and you’ll see all kinds of lists and categories of promises, or which promises to remember when you’re going through which kind of trial. All of that is fine and good,…