4th Condition for Peace: Do the Right Thing!

May 16, 2017

“The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”  (Philippians 4:9)

How can we maintain the peace of God in our lives, especially when facing life’s storms? Paul’s fourth condition for the peace of God is simply to do all the right things. Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) According to Jesus and Paul, if we put God first, let God show us the right things to do and get on with doing it, God will provide what we need.

Sometimes the “peace thief” robbing us is the hard reality that we are not doing what is right. The author of Psalm 4 cannot sleep because he is struggling with hard choices. He can do the right thing, but if he does, he doesn’t see how he will make it through his crisis. He can do the expedient thing – that is what almost everybody does – and what he decides to do. But that is why he cannot sleep.

In the middle of the night, the Lord makes him know he is to make whatever sacrifices he must to do what is right, trusting God to see him through the consequences. “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 4:5) After resolving the dichotomy over what is expedient and what is right, his insomnia and anxiety are converted into peace because the peace of God and the God of peace are with him.

We often don’t see how we’ll survive if we do the right thing, but Paul and Jesus both say,

“Do the right thing(s)!”

Dick Woodward, from A Prescription for Peace


Faith vs. Giantology

February 17, 2015

“There we saw the giants … and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight…”  (Numbers 13:33)

The book of Numbers records the death of an entire generation.  Twelve spies were sent to do reconnaissance in the land of Canaan.  Ten of the spies gave the “giant” report.  Only two told how great the land was and exhorted the people to invade Canaan.  While Joshua and Caleb were men of great faith, the other ten were experts in “Giantology.

The entire generation who listened to the ten perished in the wilderness; only two people survived the most tragic judgment of God recorded in the Bible.  An old spiritual puts it this way: “Others saw the giants.  Caleb (and Joshua) saw the Lord!” We read that they wholly followed the Lord because they believed Him well able to conquer those giants.

I have spent most of my adult life as a pastor.  I cannot help but allow the thought that the twelve spies resemble a board of Elders, a Session, a Vestry, or a board of Stewards.  Sometimes when a church is facing a huge challenge two will have the faith of Caleb and Joshua and ten will be giantologists.

We all have “giants” in our lives.  As a bedfast quadriplegic with a wife in a wheelchair I certainly have mine.  I’m sure you have yours.  We also have choices.  We can choose to see the giants and spend much time talking about how big they are.  Or we can choose to see the Lord conquering our giants.  We might call this: “Two people in a pew — which one are you?”

Are you a Caleb with a conquering-the-giants faith, or are you getting your Ph.D. in Giantology?

Dick Woodward, 27 November 2013