Temper-a-ture is an important indication of body health. So, it seems to me, peace-a-ture is an important indication of soul health. With me, too low a peace-a-ture is evidenced by my ability, or lack thereof, to manage those tiny buttons on the collars of my button-down shirts. It can get ugly! That’s just a small thing–not so important. But not having patience with children or with store clerks, or freeway-drivers, or bosses–can have strong legal and/or relationship consequences, like stress on the body and brain chemistry (the text book definition of depression is “anger internalized”).
So, how is it that people can have faith in Jesus, but still have an up-and-down peace level? What does it mean to “have faith in Jesus?” Can a person have faith in Jesus at 10:00 AM, but lose their faith by 2:00 PM? Just how connected are “faith in Jesus” and peace-a-ture? Is “identity” a faith-thing?
It seems to me–
that one can have faith in something, but only as long as that thing is reliable and available; and that one can have faith in someone, but only as long as that someone is reliable and available.
Since Jesus is a “someone,” does faith in Jesus have to do with His reliability and availability?
What is Jesus reliable and available for? What can He do? What is He willing to do?
Does “identity” have anything to do with peace-a-ture?
Here is a “beginning” promise from Jesus that you can try-to-understand-some-of-it, trust-in-the-part-you-understand, and think-on-it. As you begin to do this your peace-a-ture will begin to increase. The more you understand, trust and think, the more the peace comes.
John 16:5-15 (NASB77)
5 “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘ Where are You going?’
6 “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment;
9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;
10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me;
11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
Can you see any “identity” in verse seven? The writer of this letter is John, one of the original twelve disciples, the youngest, in fact. Disciple means “learner,” or “follower.” I am not one of the original “followers,” but I am on the team now. Becoming a “follower” does not automatically treat a low peace-a-ture problem, but learning and practicing “follower” thinking does.
When a person joins the Marine corps he/she is given the Marine uniform and boots and haircut. New recruits are not treated with much respect by the Drill Sergeants, but they are given a lot of training in what being a Marine is all about. The one thing drilled into their minds is that there has been an identity change. They are Marines–first, last, always. They are constantly reminded of SEMPER FIDELIS (always faithful). Pretty soon they are Marines, body, soul and especially spirit!
I hope to soon do more writing about Jesus’ promises and identity thinking. I have blocked off all comment aspects to this blog because of bandwidth limit issues. Sorry about that!
Ran B. Stovall