PASTOR'S PEN: Our Joy and Peace

Associate Pastor Ron Witbeck, Resurrection Life Church Big Rapids

Associate Pastor Ron Witbeck, Resurrection Life Church Big Rapids

Courtesy photo/Ron Witbeck

‘Our Joy and Peace’ can many times depend upon how we start our day! From the time that our feet hit the floor in the morning, what are we claiming? Our day actually starts as soon as we open our eyes, let’s start at that point giving God thanks for getting us through the night and setting a new day before us.

My mother used to say ‘that no matter how bad things seem to be, there is someone facing something even harsher’ and that is so true.  All we have to do is to take our eyes off ourselves then take a real interest in those around us. There may be a reason for the frown on their faces, or they may be avoiding eye contact with us because of their feeling of unworthiness.

‘Our Joy and Peace’ is expressed to others through a smile or simply saying hello, then asking them how they are doing. We have no idea what they may be dealing with.

There may be times in our own lives when we can wonder where ‘Our Joy and Peace’ can be found? Have we experienced times when our world was rocked by the loss of a family member? Due to COVID there have been many families torn and separated from a loved one and not being allowed to comfort them in their final hours. 

In times when we feel we have lost ‘Our Joy and Peace’ we can rely on the Words of Jesus found in Matthew 11:28-30.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

There will be times that we need to rest in the arms of Jesus; some may ask how? Let’s not make it harder than God intended it to be, take our situations to Him in our prayers, along with reading the Bible.

Hebrews 4:14-16:  “Our Compassionate High Priest, Jesus”

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Take our requests to God and if we have a relationship with Jesus, He will restore us. He can refresh ‘Our Joy and Peace,’ then we can reach out to those around us loving and encouraging them. In the boldness that only God can give, ask Him to direct us to someone that may just need a friend.

Let God guide us.

— Ron Witbeck is an associate pastor at Resurrection Life Church in Big Rapids.