The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace. ~ Psalm 29:11 (NLT)
Growing up, I must have heard it a thousand different times from Sabbath School teachers and classroom teachers. It went something like this: “If you’re a Christian, everything will go smoothly in life.” OK, maybe it wasn’t said exactly that way, but the meaning, the intent, was certainly to tell us children that if we loved Jesus enough, He would make sure nothing bad happened to us throughout our whole life. We would live without any problems or cares.
As a pastor, I want to assure you that those teachings are absolutely, 100 percent false. Yup. You read that correctly. God never promises a perfect life. It is, perhaps, this false teaching which has led so many people to abandon their faith as they get older. Why? Because bad stuff does indeed happen to people around the world, even those who love Jesus.
So, what does Jesus offer us if not to make our lives perfect? Well, for starters, He offers a perfect eternity. But, for now, He offers us the gift of peace. As our verse today tells us, “The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.” That verse was written by none other than King David. In case you don’t remember much about him, here’s a refresher.
King David lived a life full of chaos. At a very young age, His faith in God allowed him to defeat a giant with just a slingshot. As he got older, and was anointed as the future king of Israel, the current king, Saul, got super jealous and tried to kill him on many occasions. Once David became king, he committed adultery, had a child through that relationship, and had the woman’s husband murdered in battle. He then tried to cover it all up. Shortly after all of this, the baby, whom David had fathered through this affair, died. So, yeah, David didn’t have the perfect life with no trouble, pain, or suffering. But what he did have, was peace in the chaos.
Notice that God gives us the strength to carry on through the chaos of life. He gives us the endurance to keep going. Why? Because this world is not our permanent home. We know that there is a point in time, in the near future, when Jesus will return, destroy sin, eliminate pain, sorrow, and death, and set things right. We have peace because Jesus sits on the throne, and we are His children. We have peace because we know He reigns supreme.
So, today, and every day, give thanks to Jesus for the peace through the chaos of life.