Quietly Confident

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Isaiah 32:17 – The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. (NIV)

Years ago I met a new friend while camping in Newfoundland. Nancy was a dynamo with energy to spare, yet was never pushy or dictatorial. I wondered how she could keep her cool so well. Later I learned her secret: her cottage! She called her cottage "Still Point", the place where she sought God's quieting presence and gathered strength to face the pressures of each new day.

God first says "be still" in Psalm 46:10, then comes "know God". There is a stillness in the soul of the person who knows God's presence. Being righteous also describes such a lifestyle, but that is a word rarely used today. Yet, look around you, and you will know when you are with someone who knows they are okay or righteous before God — there is a deep stillness, a peace in them!

Whether you are at work, or in a nursing home, you can spot a mile away the people who have this inner quietness. It shows in a confidence that others wish they had, too.

How we long today, amid an atmosphere of war, always to "live in peaceful dwelling places and in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest." (Isaiah 32:18 NIV) How wonderful that this peaceful dwelling place is the promise for every righteous person. Will you join with me in praying for all those children and adults in this troubled world who are not free, that the prophecy of Isaiah may be fulfilled: "How blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free." (Isaiah 32:20 NIV)

Every righteous person experiences God's peace, for Jesus promised to give us his peace when we ask for it: "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) However, we acknowledge that Jesus' peace did not release him from facing the cross, the worst of all suffering. What kind of peace is this? Surely it is a quieting, confidence-building peace within us, and within our community. It comes as the gift of God through his Spirit within each righteous soul.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, in these troubled times we pray for the gift of your peace to be poured out upon us this day. Our righteousness is as filthy rags, except you wash us clean, and restore us to a deeper relationship with you. Lord, thank you for filling us with your peace, your love, your forgiveness. With your blessing, may we face all that comes our way with quiet confidence. Amen.

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Iris Ford

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