I’m always amazed at the elaborate decorations people put up at Halloween nowadays. One, in particular, caught my eye on the way home the other day. It was a black casket propped up on a porch with R.I.P. in white letters. R.I.P. is a popular acronym that stands for “rest in peace.” Interestingly, to rest in peace is generally attributed to the dead.
As I continued on my drive, it occurred to me that you don’t have to die to rest in peace. As Christians, God’s peace is available to us while we’re still here on earth. Jesus told His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you (John 14:27).” Christians can rest in peace because Christ’s sacrificial death changed our status from one of hostility and alienation to peace and fellowship with God. Salvation provides peace and favor with God.
While Christians aren’t exempt from trouble, we’re not to experience problems the same way non-Christians do. We can rest in peace despite our circumstances. It’s similar to riding inside a car as it goes through the car wash. While you can see, hear and feel the effects of the car wash environment, you’re sheltered from the full impact of your surroundings. You ride through with confidence knowing you’ll come out on the other side. Your vehicle may sustain damage in the car wash, but you make it through intact. That’s what resting in peace is like. You go through situations and circumstances trusting and believing that God will bring you through.
Psalm 29:11 says, “The Lord will bless his people with peace.” God not only gives us peace, He is the very source of peace. Therefore, we can rest in peace from fear and worry because God is our anchor in the midst of trying times. We can rest in peace, even in the midst of terrorist attacks, political corruption and upheaval, storms of historic proportions and personal struggles. It’s a peace that passes all understanding.
At times situations will attempt to disrupt your peace. Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Peace is not only a state of being, it’s an empowerment that enables us to stand in the face of adversity. Isaiah 26:3 admonishes us to keep our mind stayed on God. The word stated in this verse means to throw oneself or one’s cares on anyone. Have you ever been so tired you couldn’t wait to get off your feet? You place your weight in a chair and allow it to support you. When you place your cares on God, He is faithful to support and carry you through. Therefore, our hope and confidence must be in God alone.
Before Jesus died on the cross, He said, “It is finished.” Whatever the “it” is that you’re dealing with right now, cast it on God and rest in peace knowing that it’s already done.
May you rest in peace! Until next time…
Rev. Cynthia Jackson