That Perfect Peace
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you
(Isaiah 26:3, NLT
Long ago a man sought the perfect picture of peace. Not finding one that truly satisfied, the man announced a contest to produce this masterpiece.
This challenge stirred the imagination of artists everywhere, and paintings arrived from far and wide. Finally, the great day of revelation arrived. The judges uncovered one peaceful scene after another, while the viewers clapped and cheered.
The tensions grew. Only two pictures remained veiled. As a judge pulled the cover from one, a hush fell over the crowd. A mirror-smooth lake reflected beautiful, green birches under the soft blush of the evening sky. Along the grassy shore, a flock of sheep grazed undisturbed. Surely this was the winner.
Finally, the very last entry was uncovered by the artist himself, and the crowd gasped in surprise. Could this be peace?
The painting showed a tumultuous waterfall cascading down a rocky precipice. The crowd could almost feel its cold, penetrating spray. Stormy, gray clouds threatened to explode with lightning, wind and rain. In the midst of the thundering noises and bitter chill, a spindly little tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls. One of its branches reached out in front of the torrential waters as if foolishly seeking to experience its full power. In the elbow of that branch, a little bird had built a nest. Content and undisturbed in her stormy surroundings, she rested on her eggs. With her eyes closed and her wings ready to cover her little ones, she manifested a peace that transcends all earthly worry.
Like that little bird, we live in a world of great turmoil and stormy surroundings. Strife, violence and uncertainty are all around us, constantly threatening to overwhelm us. We are tiny and we seem so vulnerable to the powerful and destructive forces of the world.
Yet in the midst of all that, God gives us His supernatural peace. Our Lord tells us, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27, NIV).
We know that peace is God's will for us. Most of the New Testament letters, each word inspired by the Holy Spirit, begin with something like "Grace and peace to you."
Always remember: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer
and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.