Welcome Home – 40 Day Fast Devotional #32
When Peace Comes
Matt Destry – Communications Pastor
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.
Our journey through the book of Acts so far has been one with ups and downs. It seems that there is never a dull moment – a real roller-coaster ride. In our own lives, often when we’ve faced challenge after challenge, fight after fight, we don’t really know how to respond in times of quiet. Many of us are acquainted with challenges, trials and hardship, but how do we respond when peace and blessing comes?
By Acts 9 the gospel has gone as far as Samaria – it has not yet gone ‘to the ends of the earth’ as was the Messiah’s decree, but before another push into the unknown, the church comes upon a time of peace. With the enemies silenced without, and converted within, the church across the greater region is enabled to rest, recuperate and grow stronger in the Lord. This results in numerical growth, as well as spiritual growth.
The early church took the time and space to enjoy times of peace in God. They did not continue in their hurry, or invent some new devil to war against, but simply revealed in the refreshing that come when God gives rest. The writer of the Hebrews implored his readers to enter a restful place with God – a place that knows no striving or anxiety, only peace and security. This can be hard in the midst of warfare, but it can sometimes be harder in times of peace – our minds and hearts are ever-active and like to invent things to do.
We must endeavour to rest with God, so when times of peace come, we can enjoy it and be strengthened. If we think that we must be busy all the time, we will miss the chance to rest and be refreshed when the time comes. We will complain to the Lord that we’re so tired, that we need a break, when the time to rest was always there, we just did not notice it. May we enter into His peace, know His encouragement, and live in the fear (reverent awe) of the Lord.