A short reading and prayer for today
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Romans 5:1 NLT
Everyone will agree that it is desirable to find inner peace. Go along to any book shop and you will find dozens of books that will offer you a quick route to inner tranquility. They will give you a wide range of suggestions from those that encourage you to change your diet, minimise your exposure to conflict or start meditation. None of those things are necessarily wrong but they won’t get to the heart of the problem which is that, as human beings, we fundamentally lack peace because our lives are not right with God. It is only when that relationship is sorted out that we can begin to experience God’s gift of peace. Here Paul celebrates the fact that that is precisely what Jesus has done through dying on the cross.
When we are at peace with God, Paul declares that the door is flung open to all of God’s other blessings. The person who finds peace is introduced to a new attitude to life within which even sufferings are a source of joy. This sounds crazy but Paul discovered for himself that sufferings produced perseverance. If life was always easy we might never learn that. And perseverance produces character. Nothing is more important than to build up a strong Christian character and that happens as we trust God through the twists and turns of life. And, Paul added, character produces hope. That is to say, we can look to the future with confidence because of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit within us.
God’s gift of peace doesn’t offer us a problem-free life. That isn’t the deal. But as we allow the Holy Spirit to shape our lives day by day, we can be confident that God’s peace will be with us whatever storms we face.
What does God’s peace mean to you today?
Loving God, I thank you that Jesus died for me and that through his death I can experience peace today and every day. Amen
Photo – Mussenden Temple, Downhill, Castlerock