I’m always amazed by how God often provides the teachings you need before you need them.This blog post connects many things that have happened the last four months of 2017 with what I have learned through Bible Study and from two sermons our pastor preached. This will be a long two-post blog series full of many difficult things, but in the end, and intermingled through it all, is peace that only God could provide.
As you know–if you follow my blog–I got married on September 2, 2017. After our honeymoon, I started a Bible Study through the book of Romans with BSF International on a virtual group since there isn’t a physical class in, or near, the town I live in now. A lot of what Romans talks about is suffering or tribulation. One of my favorite passages in Romans, although also hard to put into practice, is Romans 5:1-5:
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (NASB, emphasis mine)
On November 10th, this happened:
We were super excited and couldn’t wait to tell our family and a few close friends. We decided to wait until after we reached 12 weeks to tell anyone else, though. Last week, on December 28th, we got confirmation that I had miscarried sometime earlier in the pregnancy. We are still heartbroken, but God had helped to prepare us for this news with a sermon from Pastor Steve and then on New Year’s Eve, he preached another sermon that helped me immensely. I am still grieving. I hurt. I won’t know if the baby was a boy or a girl. I never got to meet him or her. I never got to see him or her on an ultrasound or hear the heartbeat. I am a little too focused on doing anything to distract me from thinking about our baby.
But through it all, I have a peace I can’t explain. One that has to come from God. He knew this would happen and He knew why it had to happen. And He helped me prepare to have this peace by using Pastor’s sermon about peace that he preached on December 17th about the Prince of Peace. Don’t worry, I won’t transcribe the whole sermon, but I do want to share a few of the most impactful points with you.
The sermon was based on John 14:27:
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
We Need Peace
- Because of the tribulations of the world. John 16:33 says, “in the world you will have tribulation.”
- There are two kinds of peace: 1. Peace with God, 2. Peace of God. The peace of God flows from the peace with God. We cannot of the peace of God without being at peace with Him.
- Super important point alert! “The power behind you (God) is greater than the problem before you.” No matter what lies ahead, God is behind you, helping you the whole way through it.
Jesus Gives Peace
- His peace is a gift to us – a legacy. He says that He gives it to us twice in John 14:27! (see above)
- His peaces is different than the world’s peace. It is internal rather than the lack of war.
- His peace is delivered through His Spirit. The Spirit will guide people into all truth (John 14:26, 16:13). Faith in God’s word–given by the Holy Spirit–produces peace.
These truths sank in as few sermons have in the past. So much so, that Bill and I have decided to name our baby Peace. No matter what we go through, God’s peace is with us. And now, no matter how many children we may or may not have, our baby Peace will always be remembered and also serve as a reminder that God gives us His peace.
Tomorrow, I will share the second sermon with you along with my goals for 2018.