There are many who sat, “Who will show us some good?

Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!”

Psalm 4: 6


This is the plea or the cry that should be going out today from every corner of the world, for they are all darkened and each of us is in need of light to show the way home to God’s peace and secure rest. Like sailors caught in an unexpected storm or airplane pilots when weather closes in, the world around us is swirling with fierce clouds of doubt, despair, and danger. They are driven by the unrighteous anger that has become the rallying cry of our day, and this hazardous environment is stirred up by our desires to control all of life in a manner that we see as advantageous to ourselves rather than in one that is responsive to God’s Word and will. It is no wonder that this sort of world is a harsh and a hard place to dwell. This is a landscape that even its own Creator must find hard to recognize.


Yet, the beauty that was molded by that same creative hand is present, and the glory of the Creator is not lost or driven away by our godless thoughts and actions. Those exquisite shapes, subtle shadings, and awe-inspiring radiance are simply obscured beneath this world’s false substitutes for their righteousness and truth. When these same substitutes fail to provide what our hearts, minds, and souls actually need for nourishment and for growth, people begin to search for new answers to their needs and desires. Sometimes this searching leads in the direction of God and His Word. At the same time, the Lord is continually reaching out to all of this world and to each of its inhabitants with His unfailing love, grace, and redemptive offering of Himself as the answer to all longing and need.


In Christ, we have the light of the Lord to guide our steps into that safe harbor that we all desire. Through Christ alone we can come into the presence of God and shelter in His all-encompassing wisdom and truth. Turning away from this world and from its loud but shallow enticements, we will encounter opposition, troubling relational differences, and hardships and trials of various kinds. However, in so doing, we will also be stepping into the unending light of the glory of God, and it will illuminate a new path for us to follow and an infinitely better direction for our hearts and our minds to turn in our needful search for that safe place to shelter when the storm becomes too strong for us to withstand. Christ brings us into the center of good in all of its forms and expressions. Christ directs our steps along a way where He transforms the darkest of hours into the radiance of new dawn as the truth of His Word grants the Lord’s confident peace to our souls so that we are empowered to live fully and openly for Christ without fear of the stormy and troubled landscape that surrounds us.


Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Colossians 3: 15


We might like to think that we are in charge of our lives, but whether we realize it or not, there are always ideas, concepts, and emotions that do rule over us. Even the most controlled of people and the most mature of personalities get to that managed place by virtue of what rules their hearts and minds. There are things which stir us up and things which bring us down, there are ideas that cause us to act in confidence and others that spread doubt, and at times conflict can grab hold of us while at others we are filled with a peace that defies reason. The amazing thing about being a person that God created is that I have the ability to choose the way that I will respond to life, for the Lord designed me that way.


When I think about the kind of peace that Christ exhibited, I find it remarkable in that His peace was not simply some sort of blissed out, everything is fine, nothing will ever bother me, Zen existence; rather, Jesus found His peace in and through knowing that He was sent by God, empowered by Him, and that eternal truth was His to call upon for wisdom and understanding in all circumstances and situations. This form of peace not only allowed Him to speak and act openly and honestly, but it required Him to live like that. God’s peace never stops loving others, and it always seeks to bring people together as it causes us to engage deeply, as Jesus did, in the lives of others.


When peace rules the heart, there is no longer the same compelling need to fight for our own rights. We don’t need to spend so much of our energy in looking out for ourselves; so, we can become open to hearing and to responding to other people’s stories. A heart that is at peace can handle the tensions of this world without needing to add to them. The peace of Christ is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to us, for we would never find this sort of inner calm and sound footing for life anywhere else. Still, it is my choice and it is your decision to let peace rule. It takes time and it requires practice in order to make a peaceful heart a personal reality; still, the realization of that reality is worth every painful step of the journey.





And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.

Isaiah 32: 17


Unfortunately, the expression “All is right with the world” doesn’t seem to apply to the real world very often; at least, this is true for the one where I live most days. First off, all is way too inclusive, then, the world is far too big a place, and finally, right is just too vague. The absolute complexity of living and the ridiculously fast pace of life seem to work together to defeat even the possibility of rightness. Yet, giving in to the idea that life can’t be lived in a better place does not seem correct either. There is an internal, an innate drive in people to create a better place to live. We desire to reside in a just and a fair community where people are valued and where goodness prevails. This idea that good can prevail over evil is one of the classic themes of drama, and it is one of the common dreams of people. We all desire to reside in a world where the bad doesn’t happen, at least not without reasonable notice.


The words of the prophet seem to be suggesting that God sees this idyllic dream of mine as possibility, even as promise. He is saying that there can be peace and that we can live in a quiet place where trust relationships are possible. However, Isaiah’s key to that desired outcome is righteousness. God wants us to become the points of righteous, the doers of Christ-like living, in a world that is spinning out of control. The Lord desires for each of us to draw upon Him as our source of internal peace and to allow His calming influence to fill our minds; then, He wants us to interact with the chaos and the distress of our world with the strength of a quiet, Christ-focused heart. We can trust the Spirit of God to take us into this day with calm clarity and purpose, and we can have faith that He will successfully bring us through every twist and turn that we encounter during our journey.


As we seek God’s peace for the worry and the concern of our hearts, open our minds to His quiet and confident voice, and trust in His Spirit’s guidance through the day; then, we will have an influence for Christ in our world. Individuals and the communities of faith that they engage with can be world changers at the level that is most important to God. That is, we can touch the lives of other individual people, and we can influence thinking and policies that are used to create systems of rule that are just, fair, and caring. So, we can become people who not only live in that “all is right” world, but we will be the ones who bring the reality of Christ’s righteousness to others.