Jen and I have been on the journey of international adoption for about a year now. We’ve been placed with a beautiful little 5 year old girl and 7 year old boy who are waiting for us at a transition home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. All that stands between us and getting them home is a court date and an embassy appointment.
Today was the day we were “pegged” to receive our court date. Instead, we got notice that they requested an additional document delaying our date. This is not unusual, but problem is that the region our little girl is from is in a bit of turmoil right now and who exactly is supposed to issue the document is up for debate. A debate that while could be settled in days, could also take several weeks if not more.
So we’re praying that it’s settled quickly. And we’re praying for patience and peace in the meantime.
This morning I was doing some reviewing/editing of a project I’m writing right now and the topic of peace came up. It was a good reminder for me and put things back into perspective. So I thought I’d share.
We’re doing a study through the book of Romans right now at ANC. It’s a pretty challenging study. The topics are so closely connected and it can get so academic that it can be a challenge to keep each week fresh. However, one of the redundant themes of Romans is one that always refreshes: Peace with God.
“Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 5:1
Peace with God is found to be a favorite theme throughout Paul’s writings. In several of his letters to the church he signs off with a hope for peace. He uses it as a blessing, an encouragement, and as a reminder of the way of Jesus.
The word “peace” in Romans 5 means to be “set at one again”. The doctrine of peace encompasses the idea that we are reconciled back to God through Jesus and are now at peace with him. Once separated. Now back together. Just the idea is refreshing to me.
So few of us live in peace. We have such a desire to prove ourselves that we’re constantly striving for the next thing we can do for God. Whether in ministry or life, this can become a chasing after the wind. If God does not require something of us, why do we require it of ourselves? If God considers us at peace with Him, then why are we not at peace with ourselves?
Being at peace with God means we can take a breath, relax, and stop performing. Because of Christ, we don’t have to prove ourselves worthy to God. We no longer have to find our identity in the approval of others. And we don’t have to be perfect. Jesus took care of that.
Peace is the gift of Jesus and should be a huge part of any believer’s success metric. The lack there of is evidence of upside down priorities, insecurity, or selfish ambition. Does something bring us strife? We should evaluate whether or not it’s of Jesus. Do we have a complete lack of peace? Most likely there’s a reason.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27