Living on the Edge: Peace on the Edge
Let’s explore the concept of living on the edge. Richard Swenson, author of the book Margin, says that margin exists to nurture relationships. It exists for health. Interestingly, “progress” can steal away our sense of health and life. If it only refers to material/physical, cognitive/educational gains and not to social, emotional, and spiritual advancement, then it can lead to a bankruptcy of the soul. Many people suggest that the gains of “progress” have been matched with costs that are harder to see, harder to measure, but clear nonetheless.
One of the realities of our eras is that we hustle and bustle so quickly that we at times neglect the core issues of life. Futurist David Zach calls the life we live, “hyperliving-skimming along the surface of life”. E.F. Schumacher observes that nature of society today is like the “the forward stampede”. How do we get real answers to our tangible struggles. We can turn to the writer Habakkuk for answers to questions he posed that are not unlike our own. In his case, he wanted to know “why”?
Our friend Habakkuk wanted a rational resolution to a emotional struggle…but what he discovered was that the ultimate real need was the strengthening of his faith. The same is true of our time. When the currents of life, or our own choices, lead us to be “on the edge”, what we really need is a place where faith can help us stand. Can we find any peace in our faith when we are forced to live on the edge? In answering this question, let me lift up several:
“Faith Principles for Peace on the Edge”
Faith in God is an aggressive action, not a passive surrender
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.(Hebrews 11:1)
Growing up, I used to see prayer as passive. Now see it as one of the most active things you can do. Jacob wrestling with the angel.
Trusting in God brings hope
LORD, I have heard of your fame;I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2)
“The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One”-A.W.Tozer
Bigger than you are! Member of our church family has been going through very trying times. God showed him something during this time. At school when you were being picked on, tried to find someone bigger. At bottom of the pit, when you call out for God, you are calling out for the biggest one anywhere!
Perseverance brings joy from within
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.(Habakkuk 3:17-18)
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10:36)
God’s heartbeat is to see your joy well up within you. Circumstances happen. Joy is intentional and comes from God.
God wants to strengthen you!
The Sovereign LORD is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights. (Habakkuk 3:19)
Peace brings life to us
A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.(Proverbs 14:29-30)
Peace brings a tangible encouragement and energy to us.
- Trusting in Christ is the only secure place in life
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:3-4)
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)