When we look at those words of Paul in this caption verse, we are reminded to always be happy and at peace in the knowledge that we serve and worship a loving and merciful God. If I reflect on the articles that we publish in our magazine, it seems that we as writers very often tend to dwell on the prophetic warnings and impending judgements that God, through the words of His prophets lay on us in order to show us the error of our ways.
Now, whereas these warnings are very important in our walk with our Lord and our actions in our everyday life, it is also equally important that we should never forget the peace and comfort we enjoy as we travel life’s road with the Lord as our constant companion. With this in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to dwell on the fact that a life lived for and with God is not only good for the soul but grants us unspeakable comfort and peace throughout our daily life. When we look at the Psalms of David, we will find that the Psalmist in most of his Psalms, in the very first verse of each, expresses his love, adoration, and total devotion to his Lord. Even though David, a mortal human being, just like all of us, had his shortcomings and often fell short of God’s ways in his daily life, his devotion to God in faith never faltered. It was that devotion and reliance on God’s mercy that gave David the peace and joy that is so evident in the Psalms.
With little effort we also can obtain that peace and joy and comfort. All we have to do is find the same attitude that David possessed. In Matt. 5:3-12 we read the words of Jesus, as He preached what is known “the Sermon On The Mount”. The verses three through twelve are called the Beatitudes, the same can also be found in a more elaborate form in Luke 6:20-38. When we take these words of our Lord to heart and practise them in our daily life, we will have gained a good start in obtaining that proper attitude.
Now do not for one minute think that this will be easy; for given who and what we are, the mortal nature that we possess, we tend to rebel against the fact that this will mean total rejection of self, and self denial is never easy at the best of times, for we always tend to feel that we ourselves must stay in control. That is just our nature and we really cannot help ourselves. In Matt. 11:28-30, Jesus says “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Jesus is not talking about physical labor and bodily rest in these verses but rather spiritual struggles and upheavals, and is thus saying that if we lay all our burdens upon Him we will most certainly find the rest we so desperately need. This is a most awesome promise that all of us should take to heart at all times. All and every aspect of our lives should be given over to our Lord and He will carry every one of our burdens, both great and small, for to Him there is nothing too great and nothing too trivial. As I said earlier this will not be an easy thing to do for the flesh is ever and always warring against the spirit. A good example of this very same fact is given by Paul in Rom.7:19, where he tells us, “For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil that I would not, that I do”. So, we can see that if Paul, who certainly was Spirit lead and God directed, struggled with this selfsame problem, then it also stands to reason that we will and can have problems in that regard.
We have to teach ourselves, through trials and tribulation, to become completely reliant and dependent on our Lord, and when we falter, we will have to admit to both self and God that we again asked self first instead of our Heavenly Father. They say that practice makes perfect and thus in due time we will gain that much needed attitude of total submission and we will be able to shout, just like David, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”. When that time comes, we will have complete joy in the Lord and we will have found that Peace of God, which passeth all understanding.
Praise be to God. Amen!