Perfect Peace

Key Text: Isaiah 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

 Lots of people have lots of opinions about what’s going to happen when Christ establishes His “kingdom come.”

  •  Believers speak at length about concepts such as the “rapture” and “the millennium” and the “tribulation period.”
  • Non-believers speak at length about how such concepts are ridiculous.
  • Some speak of how the “day of the Lord” will be too wonderful for words.
  • Others speak of how that same “day of the Lord” will be filled with judgement beyond description.

The prophet Isaiah had much to say about it too.

Yet, for me, this one small verse speaks volumes.

To await God’s “kingdom come” via Christ is to wait in perfect peace, to have steadfast sure minds, and to live in simple profound trust.

I’m not one to speculate much on the “end times” – though I have to admit, at times, it seems the world is inching just a little closer to what some see as very clear prediction of the end.

Still, I believe that God won’t just keep his children in “perfect peace” in some wonderful future time – I trust God does it in the here and now.

Life is unpredictable and difficult.  It is joyful, but also very painful at times.  Chaos and evil are real and at times relentless.

But to live as kingdom people is, I believe, at its best, to live in trust that God has everything under control – wonderful, providential, control.

As a believer, I don’t have a clue when Christ is coming to usher in the kingdom, once and for all.

But I don’t worry about it.  I believe all will happen just as it should, when it should, and how it should.

In the meantime, there is plenty of kingdom living to do, in the here and the now, in perfect peace and steadfast trust.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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