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Be Stilling the Trouble

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  John 14:27

Troubled heart.  Yes, my heart is troubled.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.   And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.  Gen. 4:5-6

The wretchedness of sin and its fruit of selfishness, division, strife, disconnect and damage has been visible to nobody as clearly as it was easily apparent to God.  He knew before it took hold that only death could eradicate this lethal toxin.  There was no reforming it, redirecting it, or repackaging it.  The corrupting effects of sin’s powerful pull are rapid and thorough.

“Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!  Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.  Is. 30:1-3

Who with an addiction seeks help for recovery when the addiction doesn’t seem to be hurting anyone?  An intervention is designed to increase the volume on the message of pain, but often an even more personal loss is required to initiate a turning from self-destruction toward healing.  So God over and over provides evidence of the humiliation and deterioration brought about by our addiction to self above all else.  And yet because He is compassionate and full of love, He is grieved.  It does not delight Him to see the decay of His children and of His creation.  They were not made for destruction but for life.

The God who is making all things new, who will bring to completion the beautiful work that He began, Who will wipe every tear from every eye and usher in His Kingdom in which there is no more grieving, mourning, groaning, isolation, pain, division, selfishness or death, weeps at the presence of those things now.  He feels the sorrow.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;  yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions;  he was crushed for our iniquities;  upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray;  we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  Is. 53:4-6O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires.  I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of carbuncles, and all your wall of precious stones.  All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.  Is. 54:11-14

This peace that John spoke about which works its way through the storming waters in my heart and says, “Be still”, has been planned and promised from the beginning of the story.  It will not come through democratic consensus and it will not be forced by hands or efforts of men.  I can not attain it through sheer will or merely looking on the sunny side.  It is possible only and always because each interaction I have in the course of my days which evidences the humongous need for a Redeemer will in fact be cured by One.  He has not only been troubled in heart by these things, He was stricken, smitten, afflicted, pierced and crushed by them.  And the lives and aspects of life wrecked by sin will find resurrection through Him.  Unity and harmony and peace will be restored as we are made righteous and nested securely in His righteousness.

Though troubled, let not my heart be dismayed, but rather look to Him, trusting that what is impossible with man is the very thing He will accomplish.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?   But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Rom. 8:20-25

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