Prayer for the day
Out of the mouths of infants and children, O LORD, your majesty is praised above the heavens.
Scripture for the day
The promise of peace in the scriptures is sometimes misleading. That is not to say that God is a liar. Nothing like that. However, sometimes when we read the promises of peace, we get a certain picture in our minds that may not be exactly what the promise actually means.
David certainly seems to believe in God’s salvation, God’s promise that God will indeed save him from harm. The Psalmists regularly ask God to deliver them from harm, from enemies, from hardship, and they regularly extol not only God’s ability to do these things, but his willingness to do them as well.
What does the peace that God promises look like? Obviously God’s promise to protect from harm is a provisional promise, and cannot mean that NO harm will ever come to his followers. After all, David experiences harm. David experiences loss. He lost a son (or more). The protection and peace God offered was sometimes bodily peace, but most often, it was the peace of knowing that whatever happened, God was in control.
We see the same kind of promise taking effect in Paul’s life. God actually speaks to Paul in a dream and tells him not to be afraid. God will care for Paul in the midst of the difficulty. When Paul preaches, he need not be afraid of people. He need only continue to listen to God and rest on the promise that God will take care of him.
And God does take care of Paul as he preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sure, Paul gets into trouble. Sure, Paul has difficulty. But in every situation, God continues to uphold Paul. His enemies do not, in the end, prosper, even if he is martyred. God’s promise gives peace to have courage in trouble, not to avoid it altogether!