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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Peace that Passeth Understanding

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
(Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)

In “Off the Chain” (link) I said that by placing one’s eyes upon Jesus and getting ultimate validation from that source, the pain of human rejection is outflanked and acrimony is truncated. This bias towards amelioration of contention’s poison becomes a signal characteristic of believers as leaders. However, what is needed at this point is an example of what conversation a believer has in some form or other when confronted by active ill-will—for surely the hurtful intent of others cannot be realistically ignored.

The answer to this question is provided for us in Scripture—since the Trinity realizes the tendency of human nature towards sinfulness is great. At this point we turn to Genesis 45. Joseph realistically must take cognizance of the stark intent of his brothers to harm him when they sold him into Egypt. Joseph illustrates what understanding in some form or other the believer has on such occasions. Joseph says to his brothers; “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives God sent me ahead of you…. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Genesis 45: 5, 8). In short the believer when confronted with malevolence prays something like the following: “God I dislike how I’ve been treated (am being treated) and from a human perspective wish it were otherwise. But it is not my place to resent my opponents who are acting to fulfill your will. My understanding of all this is not clear, yet I place my trust in you, oh Holy Trinity--omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. Grant me the peace that passeth human understanding. Amen.”

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