Peace. An elusive but valuable commodity in 2020. Sometimes we think that peace means the absence of conflict. But true peace, God’s peace, is that which keeps our hearts calm in the midst of conflict. Consider Jesus in what was, arguably, the most difficult circumstance of His life, the crucifixion. As He hung there people were mocking and casting aspersions at Him, He was completely deserted by almost all of His friends, and the physical agony must have been excruciating. While all that turmoil was raging around Him and being inflicted upon Him, consider His actions as He hung there: He witnessed to a thief, directed His responsibility for His mother as the firstborn son to His friend John, asked God to forgive the men who were illegally and unjustly executing Him, and recognized when the task was finished. Indeed, His heart was calm in the midst of this horrific conflict!
And so, we are told in Colossians 3:15 to, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” That means that we already have the “peace of Christ”, it is only a question of whether or not we will allow His peace to be preeminent in our hearts. The word translated “rule” means to arbitrate. Much the same as a referee or other game official arbitrates for the two teams playing the game. It suggests that the peace of Christ is available to all of God’s daughters and sons but it is the responsibility of His children to LET that peace be the arbiter of all the various things that occupy our hearts.
These are tumultuous times in which we live. There are many competing emotions seeking to take over the control of our hearts. Fear, anger, anxiety, depression, confusion, pain, disappointment, sorrow, and many more. And sometimes the drive to try to escape them all is almost overwhelming! But God has not called us to escape this world, He has called us to be His ambassadors to this world. And for that we need peace, nothing less than the very peace of Christ.
Only when we step into Jesus’ presence does He take away all the struggles and difficulties of this life. But we have the availability here and now of the peace of Christ to bring calm to our hearts in the midst of this 2020 turmoil. You can let the chaos of life’s conflicting emotions arbitrate your heart, or you can let the peace of Christ rule over all the rest. The choice is ours.
In Christ our living hope,