Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Peace In the Heart"

    There is a green rainbow that encircles the Throne of Heaven - "There was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald" (Revelation 4:3).  The hue perhaps typifies God's redeeming work on the earth, as after the flood when dry land once again appeared and foliage and fauna sprouted anew from death.  The bow speaks of Heaven's desire for peace with human hearts, and of judgment past for all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ - " it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: and I will remember my covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh" (Genesis 9:14-15).
    Humanity longs for peace in the heart.  Divinity longs even more for humanity's reception and experience of peace in the heart.  A way has been made, at the highest cost possible to God, for tranquility to be given to us as a free gift, the freest gift ever given.  "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).  The ongoing apprehension of such a gift is also by faith.  "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in the hope of glory" (Romans 5:2).  Therefore, problems with peace are always related to problems with faith.  If we are not experiencing peace in the heart, we can be sure that unbelief is, in some manner, the root issue.
     The atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ is far more effectual than we realize.  Born again believers are justified to the degree that God "will not impute sin" to us (Romans 4:8).  Certainly this does not mean that our wayward attitudes, words, and actions are inconsequential, or that God will not deal firmly with us as a loving Father when necessary.  It rather declares to our needy hearts that our relationship with Him is secure, and that in the best times of faithfulness and the worst, the way of redemption and peace remains the same.  "I am the way" declared the Lord Jesus, a blessed assurance echoed the writer of Hebrews who calls us to "have boldness to enter into into the holiest by the blood of Jesus" (Hebrews 10:19).  Never are we so faithful that we can come to God by any other way.  And never are we so unfaithful that we cannot come, so long as we make our approach by the Blood-stained path of our Savior.
     We do well to settle it within our understanding: God desires us to be at peace with Him far more than we desire to be at peace with Him.  The serenity of our hearts is a vital issue in our Heavenly Father's heart.  He is "for us," and we shall find far more than a sympathetic willingness to receive us when we come to Him empty-handed, but with hearts full of faith in the finished work of Christ for us.   Indeed, the trusting saint who comes to the Throne gazes upon stains of Blood along the path, as it were, stains that we know were shed for us.  We remember and realize anew that only a Father who loves us beyond imagining would have provided so great a salvation and so great a Savior.  In such holy light, we therefore choose to believe that for whatever reason we make our approach to the Throne of grace, our Father's will is that we come away from it with a heart of peace.  So much was sacrificed to make such a gift possible.  And so much results in and through us for the glory of God when walk in the peace with which He longs to fill our hearts.
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ."
(Romans 1:7)

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