Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
Peace be with you!
The storm has passed. The initial shock has worn off. The damage has been evaluated, accessed, and documented. Now the rebuilding begins amongst the rubble and the dust. The government promises funding to rebuild homes, schools, and other public places, but what does it mean to rebuild? Where do you even start? In forty minutes, twelve to thirteen thousand homes were destroyed by the second biggest tornado in history. What do you do when you don’t understand what God is doing or where to go from here?
Jesus has been talking with his disciples about his death and ascension to heaven. There is not enough time for Jesus to explain everything he wishes he could to his disciples. Even if he could, they would not understand (John 16:12). Sometimes you truly have to live through an event to understand the outcome. Jesus’ disciples will experience extreme loss and grief when he is crucified and dies.
However, through Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection, God the Father gives us the peace (Romans 5:1b) that comes from being in a relationship with him and believing in the good news. Our faith in God the Son justifies us in the eyes of God the Father (Romans 5:1a).
God gives the kind of peace that you feel when you hold a newborn baby and see his innocence and beauty. God gives the kind of peace that you feel at dawn just as the sun wakes up the birds as you sip your coffee before the rush of the day. God gives the kind of peace that you feel when you sit quietly in a garden, chapel, or [wherever “it” is] reflecting on life. God gives the kind of peace that you feel when everything is going right in the world. God gives that kind of peace – the peace of understanding (Philippians 4). But he gives the same feeling of well-being and peace even when everything seems to be going wrong.
Yet with all good news comes responsibility. We are given peace, grace, and love to share with others (Romans 5:2). Peace, grace, and love are not things we can keep to ourselves; they have spirits of their own that show themselves through our actions. With the responsibility of believing in the Good News comes suffering (Romans 5:3). Not everyone will come to believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit and they will torment us for believing. Some of us will die sharing the good news, while others will be banished. And we will all face the human sufferings that come with living in this broken world.
But we continue to share the good news to give the Triune God glory, because without them we have no hope, peace, grace, or love. Our relationship with the Triune God outweighs the threats this world throws at us. Once we give God’s peace to others in the darkness, we are blessed with a community that will continue to grow and flourish.
Suffering never goes away since Satan rules the world. People will always judge us based on our belief in the unseen, unheard, and untouched. Nothing about our beliefs makes sense to those who are not in a relationship with the Triune God.
In those times of suffering, Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit will give us guidance in the truth (John 16:13a). Like God the Father sending God the Son, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to tell and show us the truth by glorifying Jesus Christ (John 16:13-14).
Jesus could not possibly tell the disciples everything; therefore he sends the Holy Spirit to claim us and to declare to us (John 16:14) God the Father’s hope, peace, grace, and love for us. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit work together to declare the glory of the Trinity. The Triune God works towards a common goal – to declare love for the whole world.
Even during and after the storm, the Trinity is in control and has a plan. You may feel lost in the rubble and dust; you may feel lost in the destruction; you may feel hopeless in midst of rebuilding. In these times, we need to trust in the Triune God and hang on to the hope, peace, grace, and love that Jesus’ resurrection brings us. Nothing else matters but his love for us. It is that love that will see us through.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for working with Jesus and the Holy Spirit to declare your love for us. Help us to share your good news with others by expressing the hope, peace, grace, and love only you can give us. Remind us that even though Jesus Christ ascended into heaven we are not alone – the Holy Spirit shares the truth with us. Thank you for your love that reaches into the darkness and pulls into the light. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. Where do you find God’s gifts of hope, peace, grace, and love? How do you share them?
2. How do you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit?