/Monday, December 23, 2019
Recently, I was thinking about a popular country song, where the lyrics are full of questions for God. I realize a lot of people have this attitude towards God. They start their questions with an “If…” and end them with a “why?”
“If there really is a God, then why did this happen?”
Or, “Why does God allow…?”
It seems to stem from our ego-centric world view in which we put ourselves in the center of the universe and feel deserving of answers to all our questions.
When things fall apart in our world and we are overcome by injustices, tribulations, and disasters, we are moved to doubt, fear, and anger. We want to know why God couldn’t stop that car from crashing, that cancer from spreading, or that investment from failing. It doesn’t leave us feeling very good.
Peace at Christmas
One of the major themes of Christmas is peace.
In Isaiah 9:6, it refers to Jesus as the Prince of Peace.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
We also read, in Luke 2:14, about the angels who sang, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors."
But does December feel very peaceful?
This promise in scripture does not mean that life will be free from trouble, war or personal pain.
What it means is that Jesus came to the world to give a different kind of peace. He said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
Jesus offers a peace that is founded in God’s love for us and his plan for our future.
Yes, we will face trials and tribulations in this life. There will be wars, disease, famine, and tragedy, but Jesus came to proclaim a peace that goes beyond all of these temporary things.
He offers us peace that aligns our hearts with his heart and our worldview with his worldview. A peace that enables us to face our trials triumphantly
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Another song comes to mind. This songwriter understood the peace that Jesus offers when he penned the words of a famous hymn. It was following the collapse of his business and the loss of his four daughters at sea that Horatio Spafford wrote the words to “It is Well with my Soul”.
It Is Well with my Soul
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
When Craig Kraft was very young, he wanted to be a policeman or a cowboy. Later in life, he dreamed of being a professional fisherman or the manager of a remote wilderness lodge. Now, Craig is the Executive Director of Outreach Canada! Craig loves to watch sports, work in the yard & spend time in the woods. Craig loves that OC is a team of passionate people who work together toward the goal of discipling people into the kingdom of God and he loves the opportunities he has to work with so many different people across Canada & the world.