He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Isaiah 2:4 (NIV)
This morning while reading my Bible, I was struck (for probably the millionth time) by the hope that God’s Word contains. In the case of world peace I’m sure we’ll agree that humanity has failed—miserably.
But what we seek to attain by human measures God promises will happen, not by our political scheming or military prowess, but by His own power.
Jesus will bring world peace at His return and those who are secure in Him will never suffer again.
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
One of the most striking parts of this biblical passage is the father’s brutal honesty. While Jesus’s declaration that everything is possible to those who have faith inspires us to “ask abundantly so our joy may be full, (John 16:24),” it is the raw, naked confession of the father that really tugs at my heart.
He’s not lauding the reasons why he deserves a miracle nor is he just nodding his head, like many today, and saying “thanks for the encouraging sermon Pastor Jesus” while expecting nothing to change in his life.
With all the sincerity he could muster, the father confessed his faith—admitted it wasn’t perfect— and asked Christ to help him get rid of his lingering doubts.
What a refreshing reminder that we can be HONEST with God!
Every Christian struggles, but too often we prefer to cloak our fears and insecurities behind a veil of good works, piety, or self-righteousness. How much better to be open with the God to whom all things are naked and bare (Hebrews 4:13).
But the grief-stricken father didn’t stop at admitting his flaws. He went on to ask for Christ’s transforming power to help him rise above his fallen humanity.
It’s easy to become apathetic about our frailties. I see it all the time as an educator. Some students become unwilling to try because they’ve convinced themselves that they’re just going to fail anyway.
But this father showed us that God is interested in our success. He’s willing to meet us where we are to give us power to conquer ourselves through His Spirit.
Like him, may we freely confess our weaknesses then cry out to God to help us rise above our condition. That’s when God’s power is displayed in our lives.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Freedom is the greatest of gifts, and it’s one that comes with a heavy price.
But freedom doesn’t mean we do what we want; it means we are gifted with an opportunity to live above ourselves. For truly, there is no greater slave driver than self-indulgence.
Christ’s freedom liberates us from guilt, shame and the desires that drove us to self-destructive habits. We are now empowered to serve others as He served, to deny our own wants so that others can be blessed.