Romans 5 vs 1.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (ESV)
I imagine that you like me are tired of hearing about Covid 19, confused by the constant change of policy, and troubled by the perpetual uncertainty. We can plan for nothing, everything in contingent and liable to change in a matter of days if not hours. In this, as with everything else in life, if we depend on circumstances for our peace and security, let alone our happiness we are going to be at sea emotionally, and in this health crisis a growing number are.
Paul knew nothing of the Coronavirus but he knew much about changing circumstances in life. You only have to read 2 Corinthians 11:24-29 to discover the extent of the mishaps, troubles and injustices he encountered as he travelled around the Mediterranean in service of the gospel. His contentment however did not depend on favourable circumstances but on the strength provided by Christ who makes peace with God on our account. Since our peace with God was won by Jesus and involves our justification we need not fear and when troubles come. Despite what malicious lies the enemy of Christ might whisper in the midst of our troubled circumstances, it is not because God is displeased, has abandoned us or is just plain fickle in his affection. Whatever the storms we run into through the course of life, this peace we enjoy with God through Jesus is the second foundation upon which we build a life of faith.
If you don’t know the story behind the hymn “When peace life a river “, you should Google it when you have the time. The words arise from the depths of tragedy, out of sorrow upon sorrow but the peace of which the hymn speaks is the peace of a soul grounded on Christ. In a materialistic age we mistakenly associate contentment with pleasure and possessions but these can be stripped away in an instant, when we should think of it in connection with a soul at peace with God. That peace depends on Jesus Christ not on circumstances.