Posted by Shofar/Liz
“Hope for the best and prepare for the worse,” is a popular saying, but it does not speak faith for a Christian believer. We cannot say that we have faith in God when in our hearts and minds there is a measure of fear and foreboding for the future. It is easy to not have faith or to lose our faith when we see the unstable conditions of the economy and governments, or when we see upheavals in nature, and increasing evil and corruption running rampant in the world. But the Bible tells us:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV))
“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. (Hebrews 11:1 AMP)
As Christians our sights should be heavenward to God, for though we live in the world, we ‘are not of the world‘! (John 15:19) In Hebrews chapter 11 the Faith chapter, we can relate to the Old Testament patriarchs and their descendents, whose we also are, who as pilgrims and sojourners in this world “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” They desired “a better country, that is an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Heb 11:10-16)
To have faith in God means to put our lives in His Hands, to believe His Word that tells us He cares for us with an everlasting love, that He has a plan and purpose for our lives and He will take the lead in directing our lives, if we allow Him to. Whatever comes, will come, but whatever it is, we can rest assured that God is looking after our welfare. This is a great FEAR NOT scripture:
“Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God…Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (Isaiah 43:1-3, 7)
God has a PEACE for us who know Him, and the question, “Will there be peace on earth?” which was in Chapter 10 is reviewed again:
ACCEPTING GOD’S PEACE
Will there be peace on earth? Will the present civil unrest and social revolution in America accomplish anything positive and bring us closer to having peace on earth?
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
In 2 Thes 3:16, Paul said,
“Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.”
From these two verses we see that there is a peace that comes only from Jesus, and that He is the Lord of peace. One of His titles is Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) when Jesus will establish His peaceful millennial kingdom on earth.
So for now while we are living amidst world problems and social upheaval, we can know and experience peace. This peace comes from God as Paul states in Philippians 4:7,
“And God’s peace (shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Jesus Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot whatever sort that is, that peace) which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (AMP)
With all that said, it means that the kind of peace we can hope for can come from only God alone. The King James Version says it simply,
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.
Paul, while imprisoned for preaching writes his letters/epistles to encourage the saints in Colossians 3:15,
“And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule in your hearts (deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state) to which as one body (members of Christ’s) you were also called (to live). And be ye thankful (appreciative), (giving praise to God always).” (AMP)
Our hope is in God who is present with us. He will get us through adverse situations, conditions and circumstances; it will not come from within us or outside of us, but it is GOD’S PEACE that will sustain us through the coming days as we pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Jesus said that we could know peace through Him. John 16:33 tells us
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Tribulation, afflictions, persecutions, wars, oppressions, devastations from natural disasters, calamities, social upheavals and the like affect people everywhere, of all ages and races. There is no escaping of hard times and distresses upon every nation and people as we have seen in recent news.
WWJD- What would Jesus do and say whether Christians should participate in Occupy Wall Street protests? NO WAY!
What do you see in the word ‘demonstrations’ that were intended to be peaceful, but have ended up in riots and bloodshed recently in Oakland, California? It is Satan’s hand seen in ‘DEMONStrations’ of this sort to do his job which is to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
God is our Comforter and uses us to comfort others.
“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Cor 1:4).
Romans 12:12 tells us that we should:
“Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer.” (AMP)
Our faith in God and trust in Him will help us get through troubled times and all circumstances; God will hear our prayers and deliver us from evil. Zechariah 4:6 states,
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
RESTING IN GOD
The Bible mentions a rest coming to God’s people in Heb 4:3, 9-11:
“For we which have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest, in accordance with His declaration that those (who did not believe) should not enter when He said, As I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter My rest: and this He said although (His) works had been completed and prepared (and waiting for all who would believe) from the foundation of the world. So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the (true) people of God; For he who has once entered (God’s) rest also has ceased from (the weariness and pain) of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own. Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest (of God, to know and experience it for ourselves), that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience (into which those in the wilderness fell).”
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11:28).
THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE
GOD’S KINGDOM OF PEACE
Until God establishes His Peaceful Kingdom on earth during the Millennial reign, His kingdom is WITHIN US. Jesus said,
“The kingdom of God is within you (in your heart) and among you (surrounding you); the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:21 NAS).
It says in Romans 14:17,
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost”.
This righteousness, peace, and joy is not for the hereafter, but to be experienced now. In our relationship with God and with others WE CAN KNOW GOD’S PEACE by placing our faith in His promises to us. No matter what the situation or circumstances surrounding our lives or in the world, let us remember to keep our eyes fixed on JESUS, who is OUR PEACE. He said:
“PEACE I leave with you, MY PEACE I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
In Isaiah 26:3 it says,
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.”
For now, the kingdom of God is within us, His believers, but one day soon, Jesus will return to establish His kingdom of peace on earth, even as Jesus instructed us to pray, “… thy Kingdom come”. At that time all of Isaiah 9:6-7 will be fulfilled:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end....”
Some folks worship God in church, others at home; some are having church on TV, but in the millennium, after the return of Christ,
“… it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people… neither shall they learn war any more”. (Isaiah 2:1-4)
There is coming a day when EVERYONE will exalt the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! EVERY KNEE shall bow and EVERY TONGUE shall confess that Jesus is the LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS!
This is the final chapter of my eBook, ‘Sounding the Shofar- Exhortations for the End Times’ which was published in Jan. 2012. The next posts ‘From Journal and eBook’ will be from ‘Sounding the Shofar- The Enemy in Our Midst’, an unpublished manuscript on Spiritual Warfare. I hope you have been blessed reading my eBook!)
Tags: A Better Country, Enter Into God's Rest, Fear Not, God's Peace, Have Faith in God, Jesus- King of kings, Joy in the Holy Ghost, Kingdom of God, Lord of lords, Peace, Peace in 2013?, Peace of God, Peace on earth, Pilgrims and Sojourners, Prince of Peace, Righteousness, Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, tribulation