Terrorists crash airliners into World Trade Center!
Dow racks up biggest point loss ever!
Threats close North Texas mosques, schools!
These headlines remind us that our world is continually eating away at us and everything we possess. Not only are our finances and jobs in jeopardy, our individual peace and security are being threatened as well. Uncertainty and instability are the signs of our times.
Naturally, many people think they have learned how to avoid the trials that inevitably come their way. The investor thinks one more dollar will buy stability--until he is faced with financial ruin. The homeowner thinks a bigger house will better insulate him from life's storms--until the storms knock it down. And likewise with jobs, status, and even personal relationships. The things we depend upon in this crazy world so often break, leave, or turn on us.
The answer comes not in some futile attempt to find something in this world that will keep out life's hurts. Instead, we need someone beyond this world who can give us the strength to endure life's storms--someone who has already defeated the worst this world can offer. Jesus Christ was mocked by skeptical crowds, abandoned by His closest friends, and tortured and killed by His enemies. But He rose from the dead-- overcoming all of that--because He is God-in-the- flesh. That's why He could tell His disciples, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27). Jesus did not promise that we would be excused from life's trials. He wasn't. But rather He promised that His peace would be with us in the midst of this topsy-turvy world. Not only that, but His peace even extends beyond this world and heals the break between God and us. To experience that peace, Jesus wants us to understand that:
We all fall short of what God expects of us because of our rebellion against Him. The Bible says, "There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins" (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
Our sin--our rebellion against God-- deserves punishment--death. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
The good news is that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to this world to die in our place and take the punishment for our sin upon Himself. Jesus defeated death when He rose again from the dead. "He Himself [Jesus Christ] bore our sins in His body on the tree [the cross]" (1 Peter 2:24).
When we trust that Jesus' death paid for our sin, God forgives us and gives us the free gift of eternal life. "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Only when we confess our sin and trust Jesus Christ will we experience "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). Only then will Jesus come to live in us and provide the stability we need to weather the worst of life's storms. Jesus Christ offers lasting peace. The world we live in can offer only lasting disappointment. The signs of the times say so. Where will you put your trust?
© American Tract Society
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