Peace in a World Marked by Pain

July 8, 2016

Hello Church,

I pray that you and your family are finding the joy of the Lord to be your sufficient strength during these difficult days in which we live. While the current cultural climate and direction of our country is disconcerting to say it mildly, how encouraged I am to know that believers have an incomparable inheritance reserved in Heaven that will never spoil, fade, or be taken from us.¹ I am compelled this afternoon as your pastor to remind you not to allow the discouraging news and events around you to rob you of the joy that dwells within you through the unfading and never-ending hope of the Gospel.² How blessed we are to have the all-sufficient Scriptures to guide us through the tumultuous and treacherous times in which we live.³ The Word of God speaks directly to the fading and futile nature of this sinful world⁴ and the evil that will naturally reverberate from this reality.⁵ Thus believers, as they live in this world, are to remember that they are not of this world,⁶ and must therefore purposefully pursue and passionately set their minds on Heaven where Christ is.⁷ Worshipping God with joy while living in an ungodly world marked by evil has been the difficult, yet delightful calling of all believers for all time.⁸ Let me explain further how we can have peace in a world marked by pain through biblical worship.

Peace in a World Marked by Pain

World-Peace

The first way to have peace while living in a world marked by pain is through worshipping the person of God instead of focusing on the present peril of our world!⁹ This biblical reality is seen throughout the Scriptures,¹⁰ and most clearly in the Psalms, where God’s people praise the Lord for who He is and what He has done despite their present trouble.¹¹ As a matter of fact, the Psalms were ultimately written in order that exiles might know how to worship and live for God while living in a foreign land that was pagan and painful. This is why the Psalms connect so personally with us in the midst of our pain, as believers are ultimately exiles longing for another land whose designer and builder is the Lord.¹² Therefore, like the believers of old, we must learn to worship God for who He is, as He never changes despite the changing and often disappointing circumstances of our lives.¹³ This was the great lesson Jeremiah learned while watching the disastrous destruction of his beloved land and city.¹⁴ Three areas for which to always praise God, no matter what life might bring, are His sovereign power,¹⁵ His sufficient wisdom,¹⁶ and His sustaining love that never ends!¹⁷

Another aspect of worship that always brings comfort in the midst of chaos is rejoicing in the salvific provision of peace¹⁸ given through the Gospel of peace.¹⁹ Through Christ, God has dealt with man’s greatest problem²⁰ and provided the way of peace.²¹ Jesus Christ encouraged His disciples by declaring that despite the undeniable trouble they would face in this world, they could have great comfort and confidence from the fact that He had overcome the world,²² and that He would return and take them out of this world.²³ Therefore, resting in the salvific provision and promises of God given through Christ always brings peace²⁴ because they are not circumstantially tied to this world, but inseparably linked to the faithfulness of our loving God.²⁵ This reality is so important as it forces us to focus not on the things of this world that are fading and temporary,²⁶ but to live for,²⁷ pursue,²⁸ set our hearts on,²⁹ and find our joy in the eternal things of Heaven.³⁰

This great provision of peace given through Christ also serves as our greatest provocation and power for fighting the sin that dwells within in us.³¹ Thus, we can also have great peace in our ongoing pursuit of holiness as we contemplate all that God has sovereignly done in dealing with sin, and all that He will continue to do in me and through me as I do my part in following His command to kill it.³² I look forward to learning more about this blessed journey of the believer becoming in life what they already are in Christ, as we consider further this matter of dealing with sin as declared in Colossians. I hope to see you on Sunday where we will be contemplating some very practical weapons used in waging war against sin as we look at Colossians 3:5-11.

For His Glory,

Pastor Matt

 

Scripture References:

¹ 1 Pet 1:3-9

² Col 1:5, 23, 27

³ Ps 119:105

⁴ 1 Jn 2:15-17

⁵ Jn 16:33; 2 Tim 3:12-13

⁶ Jn 17:16; Phil 3:20

⁷ Col 3:1-4

⁸ Gen 6:5-10; Hebrews 11

⁹ Ps 16

¹⁰ Acts 16:25; Rom 8:18; Heb 11:4-7

¹¹ Ps 73-83

¹² Heb 11:10; Phil 3:20; Jn 17:16

¹³ Lam 3:20-24

¹⁴ Lam 3:25-33

¹⁵ Jer 32:17

¹⁶ Rom 11:33-36

¹⁷ Rom 8:31-39

¹⁸ Rom 5:1-5

¹⁹ Eph 6:15

²⁰ Rom 3:9-18; Col 1:21-22

²¹ Eph 2:14; Isa 9:6

²² Jn 16:33

²³ Jn 14:1-6

²⁴ Rom 8:1; 18

²⁵ Rom 8:31-39; Phil 4:4-7; 1 Thess 5:23-24; Lam 3:20-24

²⁶ 2 Cor 4:16-18

²⁷ 1Jn 2:15-17

²⁸ Phil 3:12-14

²⁹ Col 3:1-4

³⁰ Heb 11:25-26

³¹ Col 3:1-4

³² Col 3:5

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