6 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.
I must admit that Jesus has been all those things to me lately. He has been a Wonderful Counselor -- giving me instruction on how to deal with situations. He especially made Philippians 4 (see below) more real to me. That goes along with the Prince of Peace description because as He promised, when we are anxious about nothing and instead present our prayers to Him with thanksgiving, the peace of God does come down to us ... and, really, it is beyond human understanding. It gives a quiet, inner strength and joy as well. Have I arrived? Goodness, no. It's often a daily, sometimes hourly struggle with worry and fear, but when I remember the faithfulness of God AND the fact that I put my trust in Him - the Mighty God and the caring, loving Father -- I have that sweet peace in my heart.
I am eager to see how God will work and glorify Himself. I am thankful I serve a God Who cares and Who is involved wholeheartedly in the affairs of humans. I don't serve one who sits back with indifference.
My Lord cares. He's involved in all the details.
I love this from a book I am presently reading. Concerning Job, the author states: "Job now realizes that all his deep-sounding philosophical questions about suffering are the mutterings of a fool. He can't begin to understand why God lets good people suffer. And he doesn't have the creativity or the foresight to think of ways God could actually use suffering to help the sufferer, as well as to help others." (pg. 153 --The Complete Guide to the Bible by Stephen M. Miller)
In a way it goes along with something I read this week in the Voice of the Martyrs publication for this month:
"Some of those who persecute the Christians in Vietnam are turning to Christ. We receive reports of Vietnamese policemen interrupting meetings, following Christians to a river baptism, or interrogating men and women in a police station. When the people they arrest show the mercy, grace and love of the Savior, these authorities are puzzled, then stunned. These captors become captives of the kingdom of forgiveness. (How often we forget that those who insult and harass Christians are our mission field.)" -- pg. 12
That part in parenthesis was a wake-up call to me! How I long to snap back at those who insult me and those I love. Oh, that I will be filled with God's love and forgiveness instead!
The Lord has been using these words to help me recently.
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Even if you cannot rejoice in your circumstances, you can always rejoice in the goodness of the Lord! Give this passage a try and see how God will reward your obedience with that unexplainable peace.