From distress to peace


Recently one of my friends was sharing his unrest about his job situation. He told his mother: “Mummy, don’t be surprised if next week I lose my job”. Working in a private company as a software engineer, this is the plight of many a youth. Distress, disappointment, hopelessness are hallmarks of our present age.

We see many people around us, (sometimes even we too,) to go through this sort of experience. Shortly we celebrated Christmas, the coming of our Lord into our mankind; the very message at the announcement of His birth was: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those of good will” (Lk. 2, 14). Jesus said: “I have come that you may have life, life in its fullness” (Jn.10,10). Towards the end of His public ministry, He told his disciples: “Peace I give to you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give; this is my gift to you” (Jn. 14,27).

Christ as Saviour – El Greco (WGoA)

Did Jesus make an empty promise? No, ‘His promises are trustworthy’ (2 Cor.1,20) ‘God’s word will not return to Him unfulfilled’. (cfr. Is.55,10-11). Then why are we not able to experience the peace that He has promised?

Our God has brought us into a beautiful, eternal covenant relationship with Him. Through  Baruch, the Lord spoke to His people: “Had you walked in the way of God, you would be living in peace forever” (3,13;  Also Is. 48,18;  Ps.85,8). The fruit of righteousness is peace (Is. 32,17). Those who walk uprightly enter into peace (Is. 57,2) .The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths (Is 59,8). Submit to God and be at peace with him.  In this way prosperity will come (Job 22,21).

Why is it that the life of modern man is bereft of peace? We may have everything of this world for our enjoyment, but in the depth of our heart, we experience barrenness, emptiness! Any small problem takes away our peace and joy. It is because we have no place for God and for His word in our lives; no faith in God in whose loving hands our lives are secure.  We profess that we believe in God, but we do not want God to control our lives. We do not want to walk in His ways. As we read in the book of Job, “these are the ones who say to God, ‘Go away! We do not want to learn your ways” (21.14).

The Holy Spirit tells us through St. Paul: “All of us have knowledge, but knowledge puffs up” (1Cor.8,1). Nowadays the vast knowledge of even the children, surprises us! But forgetting, ‘the source of all knowledge and wisdom’ (Col. 2,3), namely God, we tend to think ‘high of ourselves’ and live independently of Him. God’s word tells us that we may have to walk through the valley of darkness (Ps.23,4), of uncertainties of life; we may go through flood and fire (Is.43,2), of suffering situations; we may have to experience rejection, scoffing and persecutions (Mk.10,39); and yet He assures His peace to us! Is it a paradox? No, if only we put our lives into His hands, and live in reverential fear of Him and walk in His ways, He will take delight in us and bless us with His peace even when we go through the uncertainties and varied turmoils of life. “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil.4.6,7).

The Holy Spirit tells us through Prophet Zechariah ” Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I will restore to you double” (Zech.9,12). We do have faith and hope, but it is only nominal. We are prisoners of despair and hopelessness.  Jesus came to liberate us from all captivity (cfr. Lk.4,18). Let us have the living faith in Jesus who can open new doors and avenues when we face the doors getting
closed in front of us. He is almighty and all loving. All that we have to do is to ‘commit our life to the Lord, be confident in Him’ and ‘He will act’ (Ps.37,5).

Mary Pereira

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