On Fear and Anxiety: The Peaceable Kingdom
"For He rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14)
The “domain of darkness” seems to be winning in the world at present. It’s weapon at the moment is sickness. There are other weapons in the arsenal---isolation, economic despair, rage against government, and the cultural deconstruction of morality by the content providers on the television.
Darkness has descended, but….
God has rescued his people. We who trust in Jesus have been transferred into His kingdom. The Light of the World shines upon us and through us. By the grace of God and by means of the cross, Jesus has ransomed, redeemed, and forgiven those who've put their trust in Him. We have been delivered from death into life.
How easy it is to feel defeated and overwhelmed by the darkness all around! How do we live without fear and anxiety as the long shadows fall across the landscape of this world?
The spirit of overwhelm must be rejected and the truth concerning life in the kingdom taken up and embraced. We live with paradox in a world of pain and beauty. As aliens, passers-through, we are journeying to a place where our longing to be whole will find its fullness.
Following Jesus example, we live here, present and attentive on the earth, running toward our destiny. It's before us sitting on the horizon of eternity. Joy compels us to persevere. Each sunrise is a day closer to the day when the light of the sun will be eclipsed by the light of the Son. This is our hope.
Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:15-17)
This is the reason for our hope; the source of our peace.
- Peace in the darkness
- Peace in the storm
- Peace with God
The Lord has determined in His heart to be our peace. We hide under his wings and find refuge even as the darkness deepens. Though battles around us threaten, we take comfort in the Lord’s care:
“No evil will befall you, nor any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.” (Ps. 91:10-11)
Awake, O Mighty One, who rides upon the storm. Come and judge what must be judged and vindicate those you choose to vindicate. Hide us under the shadow of your wings and keep us safe in these dark days. We look to you for help against the terrors of the night. We wait for the peaceful kingdom to be established. Let us see it in our days. We trust in you. Do not delay.
As I sat with these Scriptures and prayed this prayer, I was reminded of the prophecy found in Isaiah 11. It tells of the “peaceable kingdom” that will come into its fullness someday. I thought I’d copy it in here so that you could sit with me in our Lord's great promise. It’s so beautiful:
"Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist.
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.
Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.
Then in that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious."