Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Peace of Christ in a Troubled World

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.  But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.  And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.  –II Thessalonians 3:1-4 (KJV)

Have you ever been talking with someone and the conversation was not going well?  Perhaps in an effort to get the person to better understand your point of view you said something like, “Come on, be reasonable.”  People will often be unreasonable and we must work with them as best we can.  When Paul the Apostle asked the Thessalonian believers to pray for him the request involved deliverance from unreasonable people.  Most of us can probably relate to such a prayer request, for we will often encounter hard to deal with people and situations. 

However, in the context of Paul’s prayer request we find a stronger tone than people who are just being hard to deal with.  The Word of God is speaking of those who are perverse and depraved in their thinking, actions, attitudes, and dealings with others.  Unfortunately, the world is filled with people living only for themselves with little regard for the needs or welfare of others.  Sadly, this situation appears to be getting worse.  Along with a prayer of deliverance from such evil is the affirmation of God’s faithfulness.  The Lord will establish us and keep us from evil.  We might think, “I am in an evil world and around evil people every day.  How will God keep me from evil?” The answer is found in the faithfulness of God who grounds us in His Word and strengthens our faith.  As our faith grows, so grows our power to stand against the dark forces of the world. 

As followers of Christ, the Holy Spirit empowers us to be faithful regardless of what is going on around us.  We are able to stand because we have put on our spiritual armor as described in Ephesians 6.  Not only will the Lord empower us to stand, but also to shine the light of Christ.  This is what the Word of God means in Philippians 2:15 when it speaks of followers of Christ shining like stars in the universe.  Shining like stars is shining the light of Christ in a wicked world.

Do not be discouraged over the evil in the world.  Instead, be overcomers by the power of Christ.  Let the light of Christ shine by reaching out in love, helping those in need, having a humble spirit, maintaining a forgiving heart, and praying without ceasing.

Walk forward in faith, stand firm, and do not be afraid.  The Lord will give us strength to shine His light in a troubled world.  In Christ there is peace and joy.

God bless you today.