“Some…have upset you…and disturbed your peace of mind.” (Acts 15:24)
You know it’s all happened to us, a common frustration say from buying something online or from a local retailer and when you start using the item, you find out that it is defective, it’s nicked, outdated or missing some crucial part. In the end we are frustrated because the product didn’t do the job we thought it was going to do for us.
Well, in a way, this is why the new Christians of Antioch were so upset. But, their disappointment wasn’t about a product but instead they were disappointed in the gospel! These Gentiles willingly and joyfully believed in the wonderful and great news that was told to them by Paul, however after he left other preachers came who claimed that Paul had given them a deficient message. They told these new Christians that it wasn’t enough to believe in Jesus Christ but they told these new Christians this “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.” (Acts 13:48; 15:1). However, the new Christian church in Jerusalem ruled against this and sent a letter to Antioch that basically was stating that “No, you don’t need to observe the Mosaic law. Faith in Christ is what’s essential.”
Today, we Christians don’t believe in the Mosaic law either, instead we believe that we are saved by the grace of a wonderful loving Father who wants to give all of us good gifts. However, there may be times when our daily crosses might get a bit too heavy to carry or we may be tempted, might feel drained, confused or even may feel lost at times and then we too might even begin to think that the gospel is deficient or defective in some manner.
What we need to remember is that Jesus did not come to guarantee all of us good health, plenty of wealth and prosperity. What He cam for was to promise us one thing “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20). We need to remember that He is with us to guide us, to comfort us and to also encourage us to continue on no matter how hard the battle might seem to be. He has freely given us His Spirit so we can stand tall even when everything around us seems to be falling apart. What He has done is given us the same promise that He gave to St. Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
So if there are times when you are feeling overwhelmed by what is going on in your life, then take some time to step back and consider the “big picture”, and then stop and put your faith in Jesus. For you, for us all, just like for those first Christians, it’s the path to our peace of mind!
“Jesus, I see so many needs, mine, my family’s, those of the Church and the world. Help me to look up, trust you to provide, and receive the peace and assurance you want to give me.”