You shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision nullifying a Texas law that protected expectant mothers and their babies was (unbelievably and sadly) celebrated by many. A government agency recently reported that more than half of Americans cohabit rather than marry. We just finished a so-called “Pride Weekend” in Houston – touted by everyone from the newscasters to the Mayor, reflecting (stunningly!) a glory that ought to be our shame (Cf. Philippians 3:19 & Ephesians 5:12). Add to that suicide bombings in the Middle East, riots in Germany, and other global distress, and it is enough to trouble my heart. We have wandered so far from God’s ways. Lord, have mercy!
It is precisely in these times that we become acutely aware of how precious is God’s deliverance. Jesus’ words, and Isaiah’s promises take on their fuller meaning. Many days and times we can lose sight of our need for God. When family and work relationships are going well, and health and happiness is all around, we are less likely to realize we need to be led back, and are not aware of a need for a different kind of peace. But in these times God’s promise and Jesus’ deliverance is precious news indeed.
Jesus spoke these words near the end of his earthly life – in the days just prior to his betrayal, arrest, suffering, and death. He knew these things were on the horizon. But he also knew the promise and faithfulness of God. He promised a gift that transcends every worldly tumult.
So it is today that I lean into these words of promise. There is a better day coming for those who look to Jesus Christ. He has secured our eternal salvation, and through him we have great peace.