The Gift of Peace

I started out to write about control. Who or what is in control of everything, if anything  or anyone is. As a Christian, I have a set of theological beliefs that have changed over the years as I have done more reading and thinking and , I believe, as God has opened my eyes to new understanding. Maybe you’re ‘not religious’ as people sometimes describe themselves when they don’t go to a certain church or have a firm belief in God or any higher power, or when they claim a belief in God but don’t have the desire to study and learn more about Him. If that describes you, you may not be aware that there has been a huge debate since forever over this issue of control. There are terms for it; fatalism, determinism, predeterminism, fate, chance, luck, and others.

Predestination is the one that gets some people riled up. My particular belief is that God is in control and knows the beginning, middle , and end of all events.  How this actually plays out and whether we have any choice in any matter, that is the question in my mind. Did I have the choice to sit down and type THIS WORD? Maybe, maybe not. So why do I mention PEACE in the title? Because I have come to the point where I trust God enough that I don’t really have to know the answer to that question. It’s an important question when it comes to setting goals, making plans, AND , placing blame and finding fault. If the serial killer had no choice in his actions, why do we give him the death penalty or life in prison? Well, because we have to protect other people from him. But should we hate and judge him? Not really. What is the point? It’s human nature to do it, but not really useful.

Should we make plans for the future, save up money, set goals to achieve? Well, if God is in control of everything, then and we do those things, then it is because He planned it, so that must mean it is okay. We can get stuck on the shoulds, Should I do this or that? Should I marry this guy, have a baby, go to this college, quit or take this job opportunity? This is where faith can be such a blessing and bring peace to fear and chaos. You make decisions based on the information you have about the situation, God’s word, the Bible, what you know is right and wrong, and your personal preferences. Then you move forward. If God doesn’t want that to happen, it won’t! The chaos may not disappear but you keep trusting that God knows best.

I sometimes get hung up on the evil in the world and WHY does it have to happen. Why are children born with disabilities, abused, aborted, unloved? Why are some people so violent, mean, depressed, manipulative, etc? Why doesn’t God fix it now? When is Jesus coming back?! I have to trust Him with those unanswered questions. God is not bad. Evil is bad. God is good all the time. He knows more than me.

These questions are deep. They can drive you a bit crazy if you dwell on them too long. That’s why I say I have the luxury of peace. I no longer let myself dwell too long. I trust God. That can be a bit scary but it’s not risky. The Bible says we are to have faith like little children. Young children trust grownups! They assume they will be taken care of. We are to assume that God will take care of us.  I feel like throwing a little gospel message in here because I want everyone to have this peace. I already know some people will reject it and even become frustrated and angry just reading this, if they made it to the end. But here goes.

Seek God. Let him give you the peace that passes understanding. If you’ve never read the Bible or read it a 100 times and  it had no effect, read it again. Keep praying that God will give you faith. Give God your fear. Peace be with you.

Here’s a handy link if you want to do some reading now.

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