I mean come on! Why is it that life is always crazy and ever-changing for us Christians? Even when we are settled down in one place with a nice job things always come up and cause us to have some sort of deep inner struggle. If life ain’t crazy on the outside it sure is on the inside!!
When will it ever just calm down and leave us alone?
Now this is not the raging of a heart that is tired of being tried. Rather it is the mind of one who actually enjoys the intensity and challenge of this walk but is amazed by just how intense it can be at times.
It seems from my experience that life as a Christian never settles down into anything like a humdrum kind of a life. Ever there is something going on that is prodding us into action. Whether in the form of an outward duty we must perform or trial we must face or in the inward war to keep the flesh at bay there is always something going down.
In the short period that I can say that I have been earnestly following the King I do not think there has been a point that I can say was blissfully peaceful. At peace with God, yes, but at peace with much else, not really.
I can look at how God has laid on my heart to witness for Him before the world and how I answered that call by going out with my father and several ministry groups that I know. If anything that taught me what the true gospel really was and that if one is faithful in proclaiming it then your life will be anything but dull and uneventful.
Then I can look at my inward and outward walk with God. Over the past few years I can point to few times where there was not something deep stirring in my heart. It seems like there was ever some deep sin that needed rooting out or God was teaching me something I did not know about the Christian life.
So the question I originally asked was, “Don’t we ever get some peace and quiet?” Is the Christian supposed to have a life of peace? Or does God have other plans for us?
Here I would have to answer that the answer is kind of three-fold.
First it is clear from scripture that we are able to be at peace with God. At the center of salvation is a sinful rebel being changed and brought into a right relationship with the Father. Right meaning that his sins are purged and he is now viewed as righteous and one of God’s children. And we can rest in that if we know it has occurred. Peter warns us to be diligent to make our calling and election sure implying that we can be sure. 1 John gives a whole slew of tests for the true believer. If we pass the tests then we can have assurance of salvation. So in that sense we can be at peace. In knowing that we are justified thru Christ and stand righteous in the eyes of the King.
But there is a second sense in which I think we are never meant to have peaceful lives. God’s promises are clear thru the NT that He is determined to sanctify and His children and conform them to the image of His son. We are marvelously saved once and for all. The regeneration is deep but we are still stuck with many habits and desires that must be rooted out. And this process is painful. Any believer who has felt the burden as he is resisting the flesh and then the conviction of sin after he falls once again in that same hole can tell you that there is no easy road to glory. The road that we are to follow does not run thru grassy meadows filled with pretty flowers. While the Father may occasionally bless us with such a time the rule is that our road is rough and treacherous. The temptations of our flesh ever wear at us, urging us to rest and enjoy ourselves. “Eat, drink and be merry!!! Why do you still struggle? Is this not a little sin? Why not indulge? Just this once!” But the cry of our Lord to crucify the flesh ever rings thru the heart of a true believer. Always pulling him upward are the faithful hands of the risen Christ, pointing out sin and error, showing him the right path. A real Christian will not live at ease in zion but will be ever learning, ever seeking the King, ever pressing upward and onward. While he may slip and fall and indeed will do so often he will rise and push on because He who has promised is faithful.
The third sense is in our relationships with those outside of Christ. Those that have not been saved and transformed naturally hate the word that we are to proclaim to them (John 3:20). Thus to see a Christian boldly proclaiming the truth of God and the desperate condition of their souls will always anger them. No wonder that Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulation. We are surrounded by a people who are in denial of their true state and despise those that seek to warn them even if it is done out of true concern. They love their evil deeds and thus hate the light that shines on them to expose the sin. So when we see clear commands throughout scripture to proclaim this truth and we do so then we will face tribulation. No doubt about it. The righteous man in our present day cannot be at peace with the world. He can have no “You stay off my back and I’ll stay off your’s” relationship with his unregenerate friends. The truth must be proclaimed. Lovingly, of course, but proclaimed nonetheless. Peace does not reside here but turmoil and even danger at times. To support this we need only look at history. From Polycarp to Richard Wurmbrand. From Tertullian to the Scottish covenanters. Truth has always been opposed by falsehood and ever will be. There is no rest for a faithful Christian in an unfaithful world.
So we see from all this that we are not to expect lives full of peace and ease. We are not to think that we are missing out if we are consistently ‘going thru issues’. This is I believe to be the normative experience of the Christian walk. And if we are not experiencing some of this I think it right for you to examine your salvation. The King has promised His subjects that they will face adversity and tribulation both from within and without. If you are not facing this then the question is, are you one of His subjects?
Now though I have harped on how we are to be facing many struggles in this world none of them can even come close to overshadowing our security in Christ. If we are saved by Christ then we can indeed rest in His promise to present us faultless before the presence of His glory in the end. What peace can flow from the promise of God to see us thru! Life may at times be dark. There may be times where we are anguishing in conviction over some sin or bearing the indignation of the Father for a failure but these can be easily borne when we have the assurance of the King of the universe Himself that He is on our side and will win the victory in the end.
So finally brothers and sisters press on. The way will be hard but the King is at your side. The path is hard and we will at times fall. But rest knowing that you fall in the arms of the one who redeemed you.
For the King!!!