I often find myself meditating on this Old Testament passage of Scripture, realizing that those to whom it was written, in that day, were looking forward in faith to the coming of Messiah. Today, as it gives confidence and assurance to me, applicationally, I am looking backward in faith to the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I meditate, I must ask myself the question that is always appropriate when confronting Scripture, and that is,
"As God reveals Himself to me through this passage,
in what specific way (or ways) does God want me
to think, act or talk differently today?"
The first part of the verse settles my heart initially in the foundational Truth that "the work of righteousness shall be peace". I have certainly come to know that, in salvation, because Romans 5:1 assures me that it is through faith in God that I know peace with God.
Then, as I think further about that last phrase regarding the effect of righteousness being quietness and assurance forever, my heart rejoices at the fruit of faith - quietness and assurance forever.
God has graciously equipped and enable me to minster in a culture of crisis. From a purely human perspective, the words crisis and quiet assurance seem mutually exclusive. But from God's perspective, they harmonize beautifully. How? It is when I am at the end of my rope that I find God to be absolutely all that I need.
Seems to me that's what Paul meant when he wrote to the Corinthians, saying in 2 Corinthians 3:5, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.." James 4:8 declares " draw nigh to God and He will draw night to you".
A time of trouble drives me from myself and to the God od all grace, hope, and comfort. Might this not be the very reason that, in Romana 8:28-29, God works ALL THINGS together for good.....so that those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose, are conformed to the image of His Son?
In times of trial, when my patience is low, as I draw near to God, it is HIS patience infused into my being so that others see HIM, not me. The very same applies to my need of strength, joy, and peace.
So, in salvation the work of righteousness is peace with God. In the sanctifying work of God in spiritual growth, the effects of righteousness are a deep, settled assurance and a quiet heart of the peace of God and joy forever.
God bless you today as you love, trust and serve Him, the very source of all peace and quiet assurance.
(C) 2014 N.A.Collins
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