Epiphany

A Restful Peace

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23

Winter is a siege of darkness and cold for many. Sun-short days, harsh winds, and gray scenery hold sway. We fly to warmer climates or dream of May skies. But then it snows and everything changes. We awaken to a stillness that is winter at its best. The cold, gray siege has crept away in the night, yielding to the quiet army of white. Sounds are muffled in the cushion. Shapes that were once jagged soften their attitude under the blanket of snow. The sense of beauty and contentment is breathtaking. It is heart-resting.

When I choose to commit some major or minor sin, I find it ends up holding a tight siege of darkness over me. Though I try to ignore it for a while, eventually my spirit blackens and I hide. Like a hibernating creature, I curl up in myself and just wish it would all be over in the morning.

God will not let me hibernate long in such a state. I’m soon pressured by his Holy Spirit to confess what he already knows. But get this: he doesn’t merely send a blanket of grace to cover my sin. His forgiveness goes deeper than a covering over or hiding of my sin, as when snow blankets the ground. The Bible says it is God himself, “the God of peace,” who sanctifies me through and through. God’s peace is not a dispensation of medicine for the soul but his powerful presence. When he sanctifies me, no part of my soul is left untouched by the white of his mercy. My sin is whited out completely! At such times I enjoy the sweetest part of my walk with him—the peace of a completely cleansed heart.

Have you had the peace of knowing you are cleansed through and through? Come out of hibernation. Confess, be cleansed, then mark this page for today. It can serve as a reminder of God’s provision of himself in a hectic and troubling world.

Lord, I want your rest and peace. Enable me to believe you will sanctify me through and through as I confess to you.

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