By Jun P. Espina | Last updated on June 21st, 2021 at 09:10 am
Christian rejoicings even in times of sorrow are flooding the Internet through websites, social quotes, poetry, or graphic images. The true followers of Christ experienced a higher level of peace and inner satisfaction. It explains Paul’s cadence of the word rejoice in Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” Thousands of born-again Christians were persecuted, some beheaded, by ISIS, for example, but the former didn’t recant or join Islam. Instead, their love for the risen Jesus grew. Christ’s presence in the heart has made Christianity different and without equal. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ,” wrote the Apostle Paul, “he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Cor. 5:17) Let the unbelievers mock or cast insult upon the name of Christ through harassing and victimizing His followers. But even amidst persecution, born-again Christians increased in number even in Middle Eastern countries where the Bible is banned. A higher level of peace and happiness in this life is possible in Christianity. But you need to seek Christ sincerely like one seeking help in the hour of disaster. You need to search in your heart the Spirit of the Founder of the Christian faith, Jesus Christ, our Lord. “However,” wrote the Apostle Paul, “you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” (Rom. 8:9) Have Christ’s Spirit by believing, then have His joy and peace!
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:4-7)
Peace in this Domain ▸
Our experience of peace in this domain—like having a good source of income and a happy family—is just superficial and could turn into sorrow and pain as quickly as when we lost our job or loved one. We were created in the peace and love of God but our sins have broken our relationship with our Creator. Wrote the Prophet Isaiah: “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” (Is. 59:2) Christ came to die for our sins and save us, but He desired us to believe and trust in His finished work at Calvary.
Christ is our Reconciler and only Mediator between man and God. (1 Tim. 2:5) In John 14:6, He said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Peace and rejoicing in Christ is the signature of the Christian life. You cannot be a real Christian and a sorrowful soul at the same time; you are either happy and peaceful or you are not a born-again Christian! One Biblical reason for this experience is taught by Christ Himself in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27)
Imperfection Deteriorates Peace ▸
Almost all of our life principles are working against us. One such assumption we practiced as truth is to love our neighbors without loving God first. Facebook records tons of frustrations by people experiencing rejection by family members or friends after showing them deep love and concern—sometimes involving large sums of money. God’s commandment is love to Himself firstly, then to our neighbors. Reversing the order won’t work. All your love for your friends or family, for example, stems from your feeling you are important to them. You love people, in short, because they are good to you or important to your political or another career. Or you love them because you want to feel good or enjoy the benefit of doing so. All things considered, even the mother’s love for her child tones down by disobedience or a sour relationship. The promise “till death do us part” has been broken a million times. Christ said: “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.” (Matt. 24:12, NLT) Only God’s love is forever! Our imperfection and sinfulness crumble our desire to live in tranquility outside of Christ, the real Giver of peace.
A Muslim woman planned to commit suicide because of her inner chaos after decades of faithfulness to Islam and Allah. In her confusion, she visited her Christian friend to asked for prayer. Long story short, she was converted; experienced the peaceful heart of a born-again Christian—left Islam regardless of the risk of getting poisoned or murdered by her own family.
Our God teaches love and peace, not “suicide bombing.” YouTube is loaded with testimonies from Christians about how their lives changed after meeting Christ by faith. In Mark 15:5, we find a demoniac “sitting down, clothed and in his right mind.” (Mark 5:15)
The Second Birth is an experience of a higher level of peace and joy one cannot find in this life outside of Christ. This calmness of mind and heart is foreign to the unbelievers. Their sarcasm or hatred is understandable. By the light and wisdom from the Spirit of God the Son, we can see the darkness and the hand of the devil on all things anti-Jesus. We are different; we have peace and eternal hope. Wrote the Prophet Isaiah:
“Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
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