Being at Peace :: by John Lysaught

It seems like the entire world is spiraling out of control. Those of us in the U.S. have it pretty good—for now, compared to Christians who are giving up their lives in regions of the world (where being a Christian equates with sure torture and death).

When I think we have it bad, I just think of those Christians who are at risk every day. It is all relative though, isn’t it? We get upset when we see little Johnny getting in trouble at school for bringing his Bible or praying at lunch.

Yet I recall reading a news wire recently of a Christian family not faltering on their faith in a Muslim country—even after the rape of the mother and daughter in front of the husband/father  and  then the torture and death of the rest of family. None of them denounced Christ. I’m not dismissing our plight here in our country, but it begs the question: When will greater and greater repression start occurring here in the U.S?

Are we right to throw our hands up in anger and dismay when little Johnny can’t pray over his lunch in the cafeteria at school? Absolutely. If we don’t stand for these seemingly small or minor infractions against our faith, this will only snowball down the hill until we face unfathomable acts against—whether it means being locked up in jail for our faith or watching our loved ones get tortured to try to get us to denounce Jesus.

We can only hope and pray we are taken up in the Rapture before it gets back to the times of ancient empires of burning Christians at the stake as street lamps along roads. The slope of the demise of this world was very gradual and unnoticeable, but it has pretty much been on a steep downgrade for a few years now. And is just getting steeper and steeper as we approach the cliff.

Like a frog being put in a pot of cold water with the temperature slowly rising and unbeknownst to the frog, the next thing it knows is it is being boiled; we to are the frogs of this world. We only now know, as we look back over the last few years, how far down this world has gone and as Christians we are just now realizing we are about to be boiled in hot water by the world.

We don’t know the time of our deaths, nor do we know the time of the Rapture, but until one or the other happens, we must survive this world and find peace in the face of hypocrisy and repression in knowing Christ has already conquered death.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 – “Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means.  The Lord be with you all.”

In Strong’s Concordance (1515) one of the notes on “peace” means  to rest. This of course begs the question of what rest is.

Matthew 11:28-29 talks about rest in the Christ, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. The word “rest” in Christ in these two verses (Strong’s Concordance, 379) reference refreshment.

Therefore when we seek peace from the Jesus we are looking refreshment from Him. When we seek to survive this world, we can be assured that when we seek peace or rest in Christ, it is offered to us freely. I don’t know about you, but the world runs me down just about every day and I need peace from Christ.

Terrorism is rampant. Evil is growing and getting bolder. Abortion rights are a rally call to justify murder. Public expressions of our faith are attacked and holding fast to our beliefs, our following of the Bible, is chastised to a point of marginalizing us as bigoted, ignorant, and not progressive in terms of what society deems as okay and just.

Is it wearing on us? Yes, it is. Not only are we in a spiritual battle with evil (Ephesians 6:12), we also must face and battle unsaved men and women. Man opposed to Christ seeks to sway society and shove their evil agendas down our throat to either get us to turn our backs on Christ or to get us to shut up so Satan can continue to devour as many as He can (3 Peter 5-8) before his time is up. With the peace of Christ, we can survive this world and have peace.

1 Peter 3:1 – “Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.” This verse is an example of seeking peace through God. In my search of versus, I couldn’t find any saying otherwise. I didn’t see any verse saying to conform to society, but to NOT conform to the world (Romans 12:2).

We are charged by the Bible, by God, to seek the will of Him so we can avoid being sucked into the vacuum of this world and the evil it holds itself too.  By no means should we let the world drag us down, but instead pursue the peace of God at all times. By doing this, our focus will stay on God, not mankind, and the things of God will be in our hearts and minds.

The world tries to keep us in check, to keep us down. In our own country, look at the freedoms and repression we have allowed the government to bestow on us in the name of security and progressive ideas. These two things work in tandem to continue to walk us more and more toward having most everything in our lives controlled.

This includes our freedom to worship and evangelize the world  with the Word of God. Being able to pray in public, mention Jesus at work, display our crosses, etc. are being taken away from us for the “betterment” of society and not to offend others (i.e. control society at large).

We are stuck in this whirlwind of chaos and we must find and keep our peace in Christ to not be affected or swayed by this. We must remain bold in our beliefs. Acts 28:31 tells us that the apostle Paul preached and taught about Jesus with boldness and was not stopped from doing so.

Shouldn’t we have such boldness? God was with Paul, as He is with us. Mankind was unable to forbid Paul of speaking of Christ. To have his boldness would be awesome but the repression being pushed on us scares us of the consequences we will face, so we back off.

I admit I’m this way in some situations, but in others, I am bold.  I do let fear get in my way a  lot of the time. I do fear  possible repercussions if I open my mouth to speak about Christ. My heart is bold, but by the time my thoughts gets to my vocal chords, the “umph” is gone. Then I curse myself for not speaking up and for passing up the opportunity to impart God’s message of salvation and His wisdom when the opportunity was there.

I know I’m not alone in this because even Peter, who walked with Jesus, denied Him (Matthew 26: 69-74).  This is no excuse, but shows we are fallible humans. Yet Peter recovered and was a great champion for the Lord in due time. We can be, too.

We can be bold through finding peace in God and receiving rest in Him as we conduct daily battles for our hearts, souls, and minds. Nowhere in the Bible does it say this will be easy. It will be difficult at times and we will face trials and tribulations as we live for and follow Christ.

The world wants us to hold our tongues and practice our faith behind closed doors and to keep the love and message of Jesus away from those who have not yet been introduced to Him.

We must hold on to Christ and fight, even if it is one person at a time, one situation at a time, to ensure we are not influenced and swayed away from our path with Christ leading to everlasting peace and love in heaven.? No one knows when we will be taken up in the Rapture but we must keep watch on hold fast to Christ.

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).