But now in Christ…

Day 4 – But now in Christ…

Peace is something we don’t necessarily notice until it’s gone. It’s easy to take for granted, until it dissipates in a moment.
My husband told the story, in a sermon recently, of Horatio G. Spafford. Mr. Spafford was a businessman that put pen to paper to express his sorrow and trust through the hymn, “It is Well.” The story is heart wrenching and true. But when you sing it, knowing the life behind the song gives it so much more depth and richness. Every person has a life, every hymn writer, every pastor, every businessman, every fast food worker, every unemployed anyone, every single one of us. Every person has a story, and in taking time to hear it, we also hear God’s work, in the darkness and in the joy.
Mr. Spafford, after losing his fortune and his son, sent his 4 daughters and wife to Europe for a time of relaxation and rest after struggle. He was to join them, but was detained by business and forced to take a later boat. The boat holding his heart- his wife and daughters – was struck and sunk in a matter of minutes. His wife survived. All of his daughters drowned.
Can you even imagine? As he traveled across the sea to meet his wife, he pinned the words to “It is Well.”
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
One thing I have learned from Mr. Spafford is this: the time for peace does not always look like peace to the world around us. As Christians, we know this in truth. Let’s solidify it in some Word.
The word for peace in Ecclesiastes 3:8 is probably familiar – shalom. In other places in Scripture it is also translated as “be at ease” (Genesis 43:23) and, get this, “it is well.”
We know where our peace lies- securely in Jesus. And He never changes. In Judges 6:23-24, God assures Gideon of His work in His life…
 But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.”Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.
Isaiah 9:6 tells us that the very name of God is peace…
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Jesus’s arrival brings “a time for peace” into any situation! What assurance!
Ephesians continues this theme in Ephesians 2:13-14. Highlight the first four words of the passage below in your Bible…
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

But now in Christ…”

This is what Mr. Spafford knew. This is what we know and learn and grow in, as God does His work in our lives and heart.
But now in Christ, we have peace at all times in our hearts.
But now in Christ, we rest in Him. But now in Christ, with the victory won, we trust that all of it, the good the bad, the dark, the light, the love, the hate, the war, and the peace will work together for the good of those that love God (Romans 8:28).
Shalom, sisters. Take a deep breathe. In and out. Peace lives in you. Now is your time for peace in Christ.

Discussion questions:
When do you find it most difficult to embrace “peace”?
What do you do or where do you go when you are in need of practical peace?
Who can you share God’s shalom, God’s peace with in a note or a phone call?