"You will keep in perfect peace ALL who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on you." Isaiah 26:3-4
"The Lord gives His people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace." Psalms 29:11
No, it's not a sign of true Christianity when you're constantly tormented or vice versa. It's okay that Christians go through trials and it will happen. However, it's also very possible for God to give peace even through these trials. Me having peace doesn't mean I'm unsaved.
Yesterday in service I was watching my son in the front raising his hands in worship, next to his best friend who was also lifting his hands in praise. I was in awe. So in awe of the changes I have seen in these boys. Seeing my other son serve in sound ministry and with a joyful heart. Wow! At their age, I was more worried about when service was going to be over and what we were going to have for lunch. It's almost been 2 years since we attended our new church and the investment they have put into my kids has dramatically made a difference. That's not how I was at 13 and 14. Sometimes I have to shake my head to see if I'm dreaming. Did God really take me out of deep depression and give me this new life just a year and 9 months ago? How did I deserve this? Even when I was shaking my fist at God and asking why. More like shouting. He never left me. Even through the heartache and abandonment by my friends, I shouted and I cried, but He never left me. He was always there. I didn't know because I put man's opinion and rules above His. He never meant for His people to carry such a heavy burden of works.
"For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." Matthew 11:30
Yet, as much as I felt burdened by other people's heavy standards, I have no hatred, no bitterness, but a sadness. I've been there. I've carried the burden of works and had no peace. I had none because every night I would question whether or not I did enough to make God pleased with me. I constantly testified about what God was doing in my life and how He's given me joy and peace. Every bit of it was a lie. I knew what to say but never truly felt what I claimed. I felt like a liar every time I said it.
When I realized a whole section of the bible, tons and tons of scriptures that I once had been blind to, was about how we can't earn our way into heaven. Not before OR AFTER salvation, I felt like that guy in the movie "Pilgrims Progress". The part where he's standing at the cross and the humongous burden on his back falls off and rolls away. I thought that part was just for sinners. No, it was for me. That heavy burden was of works. Does my back still sometimes feel sore from carrying that burden for 34 years? Yes, it does. But when I remember His promises, that we are saved by grace, not by works, I straighten my back and keep on going. I can never, ever, ever let anyone take His gift of peace from me. He doesn't give a select church group peace. He gives ALL his people peace.
"God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." Ephesians 2:8-9
"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life giving spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be FULLY satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the spirit." Romans 8:1-4
"You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before who eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having BEGUN by the spirit, are you now being PERFECTED BY THE FLESH? Did you suffer so many things in vain, if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness." Galatians 3: 1-6
Thank you for Your peace, Jesus.