Inwardly Secure, Outwardly Serene
Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” John 14:23
Open our hearts to Christ, and deny entrance to all others. Why? Because, when we have Christ we will discover that we are eternally rich and have all we really need. He promised to be our faithful helper in all things and provide all our needs, so that we will not have to rely upon anyone or anything else. Cherish this truth in your heart: Where others have eventually failed us, Christ never will, and He stands firmly by our side until the end.
Therefore, refrain from putting great trust in frail and mortal people. Even though they may be beneficial and sincere to us, we should not be upset when they obstruct or even oppose us. They may certainly choose to stand by us today, but they may be against us tomorrow and their relationship with us will always be subject to change like the wind. Our trust should be in God alone. We should let him alone be the source of our fear and love. He alone will always answer us and do what is best for us. Unlike people in this world, he alone has our well-being in mind, and needs nothing from us.
Similarly, we do not have a lasting city in this world to call our secure home; we are but a stranger and a pilgrim wherever we are, and rest eludes us unless we are inwardly secure in Christ. When heaven is our home and we realize that all earthly things are but temporal, then why would we look elsewhere to places that might offer the rest we truly seek? All earthly things are but shadows. We should be careful about clinging to this world’s temporal things or we may be caught and thereby perish with them. Instead, fix all our thoughts on the things of heaven and pray unceasingly through Christ for God’s help and mercy while we traverse through this temporal world. And, when we struggle in contemplating heavenly things, rest in the suffering of Christ who experienced this world, and trust with an open mind and heart upon how it treated him too.
So what is our hope? There is comfort in this earthly realm if we will trust sincerely upon the works and words of Christ Jesus. In and through him, we will feel great comfort during the inevitable trials and tribulations. We will not be distracted by the slight of others, and we will easily endure their disparaging words.
Remember, Christ also was in this world, just like us. He was despised and forsaken by his acquaintances and friends. He was falsely accused by those who could have been with him by his side to testify on his behalf. If Christ was willing to suffer humiliation and be despised, how do we dare to complain about how anyone is acting against us? Christ had adversaries and backbiters too! Christ was the focus of gossip and murmuring! Yet, we want everyone to like us and be our friend and encourage us. How will our patience warrant a crown if we have no adversity to test us in this temporal world? How can we be a friend of Christ if we are not willing to face adversity? If we want to reign with Christ, then we must identify with the life that Christ desires for us, even if it requires us to face suffering from others.
When adversity strikes, friends abandon us, and people whisper our name amongst themselves, what should be our concern? Should we run to please them and straighten out how they think about us? Should we be concerned about our reputation with them, or look to realize how we stand before Christ? Our sorrows and sins must be presented to the one source of true forgiveness. When we are inwardly secure in Christ, we will also be outwardly serene, no matter what is going on around us.
My daily prayer: Lord, please examine my heart, and accept me as your friend. Do not abandon me as others have when strife and suffering have crossed my path. I realize that I cannot please this world and you with the same heart. I cannot try to justify living for you by trying to live in friendship with others when it may be in conflict with your desire for me. Please forgive me, and rescue me from those who seek to harm me and my family for their personal gain and glory. I do not hold anything against anyone, and I pray your response will turn their hearts to you. Lord, I rejoice in feeling inwardly secure and thus outwardly serene, even when storms rage in this world. Thank you, Amen.
For additional reading: Hebrews 4:16; 13:5-8, 13-14; Jeremiah 17:5-8; Psalm 1; 1 Peter 5:6-7; John 15:14; 17:21; Philippians 3:8, 20; Ephesians 2:18-19; Matthew 26:56; Luke 22:61; John 15:20; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 3:21