Monday, October 24, 2022

Joy and Peace (Ephesians 2:11-18)

"For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation" (Eph. 2:14).

Two graces that flow from love in the Christian life are joy and peace. True joy and peace can only be possessed by a Christian, because an unbeliever has no joy on this earth as long as he is under the fearful bondage of sin. He has no peace because he has not been reconciled with God through Christ; his conscience rages against him, and his soul is restless in its flight from God.

Joy can be distinguished from carnal happiness by its being grounded in Christ. Even in the most dark circumstances, it delights in the Lord. This does not mean the Christian walks around with a Cheshire grin plastered to his face, but it means that his soul may be filled with unspeakable joy in the contemplation of Christ. When you love someone, you experience joy at the very thought of the person no matter what the circumstance. Such is the case with the Christian—even in the midst of suffering, he finds joy in the Lord. Because his name is written in heaven, the Christian’s hope of the resurrection, in the promise of eternal life, brings joy in a dark and unyielding world.

Peace is closely related to joy because it gives the saint great consolation in the midst of trial. Peace allows the Christian to be content under the dark face of providence because he knows it comes from a loving Father. True peace is foreign to unbelievers because they have not been reconciled with God. Fallen man is at war with God. That war continues to rage until Christ changes the heart, bringing reconciliation between God and man. That peace is manifested in the believer’s conscience, which no longer brings condemnation because it has been enlightened by the forgiveness of sin. While a believer may still sin, the conscience knows that there is peace and reconciliation in the mediation of Christ.

Peace is also manifested in the Christian’s life by hatred of sin. Sin is the source of war against God. When peace with God is established, the war against sin begins. Peace with God also brings reconciliation with others. Just as Christ has commanded us to love others, this involves reconciliation and peace. When someone has wronged you, be willing to reconcile with them as God has reconciled Himself to you.

Begin every day this week meditating for a few minutes on the joy and peace you have through Christ. When you come across a difficult situation, be content because of the peace and joy you have in the Lord. If you have a conflict with another person, seek reconciliation because of the peace you have with God.