11 Jan Peace Amidst War
You don’t have to look far to see that there is war all around us. On my way back to Michigan a couple weeks ago, there was a big bomb scare on my plane. A few of you saw me on KEYE news, after they took me “live at five” from the airport (how’s that for citizen journalism?!). It was pretty scary. A few days later, there were some attempted terrorist attacks on planes in Detroit. And besides those big events, every day we struggle with sin, doubt, fear, and spiritual war. But when we meet together in church and in Mini Churches throughout the week, in Jesus’ name, He is faithful to provide us peace amidst the war. And there is NO place else we can get true internal peace. In John 16:33, Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” The battle has been fought by Jesus, and only He can grant us any bit of peace.
But that’s all well and good. You might say, “Yeah, I live at peace with people,” or “nothing catastrophic has happened to me lately,” but especially in America, it’s easy to cake over areas of our life that seem peaceful, but they really aren’t. For example, even though we can look at our bank statements and see that we’re doing pretty well for the most part, our finances still might not be at peace. There are literally tons of things we can spend our money on. I probably spent too much while I was home. Do you have any idea how much airport food is?? A tiny fruit cup was like $7! When we tithe to God 10%, we should feel a peace about that. And when we don’t feel peace about it, we need to be obedient. Then the peace will come.
Romans 2:6-10 says:
God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
There is a promise here that when we do good (when we tithe), there will be glory, honor, and peace. It will be an inexplicable calmness, a peace beyond our understanding. And sometimes I do not want to give my money. I want to keep it and spend my money the way I want, like on a $6.00 Cinnabon. Actually, that happens quite a bit (not the Cinnabon part; the buying whatever I want part). When we are obedient, the world will look at that and say it’s stupid, that we’re throwing our money away. But they do not understand God’s law. For even when Jesus followed God’s law, the world rejected and hated him. He had that constant, unwavering peace that allowed him to follow God’s will and go through persecution. And God promises to give the same to us. It’s His nature. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says that “God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” So, let’s be obedient and live out what God would have us do!