Peace-Day 12

8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord. 9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 12You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:8-12 NIV)

There’s probably not been a single day since the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, when all the world has been at peace – where’s there’s been no war or conflict or distress of any sort. Poverty, hunger and injustice still overwhelm much of humanity. Dictators and psychopathic maniacs and evil regimes still wreak terror and destruction across the globe and there’s no improvement in sight. That’s the reality we live with so we have to find peace somewhere when we think about the world and our future lest we become totally fearful and anxious.

Human sin and evil weren’t overcome with Jesus’ birth – but the potential for and the promise of that in the future was. Does that make the here and now totally depressing? Not at all, but it’s in our anticipation of all that can and ultimately will be, that we can best find beauty and peace in the present. Today’s verses remind me that I don’t have to entirely understand our world and all that troubles it and that ultimately God is in control. He will accomplish what he desires and achieve his purposes, and in knowing and believing that, I can find peace and even joy in the circumstances of today with his promise of that coming to full fruition in the time to come.
NT Wright expresses this beautifully:

“The world is beautiful not just because it hauntingly reminds us of its creator but also because it is pointed forward: it is designed to be filled, flooded, drenched in God, as a chalice is beautiful not least for what we know it is designed to contain or as a violin is beautiful not least because we know the music of which it is capable.“

What will it take for you to ‘go out in joy and be led forth in peace’? Where can you find beauty?
We would like to thank Melissa Lipsett in conjunction with the Bible Society of Australia for providing this plan. For more information, please visit:
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