“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” -Colossians 3:15
The year 2020 caused many people to wish that time travel was a viable scientific reality. Perhaps you have heard others say, or maybe you yourself have said, “If only it was 2021 already… maybe things would be better if we can just make it through this year.” The problem is that if you and I live our lives thinking that the grass will only be greener tomorrow, we will miss out on the blessings that God has provided today. I believe that the Bible tells us the solution to our problems is not a time-machine, but a throne.
Paul, in Colossians 3:15 gives us an imperative to, “Let the peace of Christ rule” in our hearts. In seasons of frustration, sorrow, and anxiety, we are inevitably going to place something on the throne of our hearts. All humans are made in God’s image and hard-wired for worship; the question is, “what will rule in your heart?” I was recently reminded of this while working on a frustrating school assignment, wishing that I could be “anywhen” or anywhere else. I would like to say I was peaceful and thankful in that moment, but I was honestly worshipping my own pride and selfishness. The Holy Spirit quietly chided me when I remembered this verse. I was frustrated and fearful when I could have been grateful. Maybe instead of wishing for another year, or another assignment, we should be praising God for the moments He has gifted us with and asking how we may use the time we have to worship him with thankful hearts no matter where or when we are.
It is no accident that the Apostle Paul draws together these two themes: Lordship and gratitude. When regrets of the past and fears about the future threaten to steal our joy in Christ, we should ask the Holy Spirit to help us let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. After all, His peace is what we are called to surrender to as members of the body of Christ. Every year and every season will be filled with joys and sorrows, we are called to trust the One who turns our mourning into dancing and puts a new song in our hearts (Psalm 30:11; 40:3). Now that 2021 is here, you and I need to answer the question, “What will rule in my heart?” When we let the peace of Christ peace rule in our hearts, we can be thankful; thankful for the grace of Jesus Christ, thankful for an eternity with His people, and thankful that in any year we have been blessed to be called ambassadors of His gospel and children of His kingdom. If we remember this, we can find peace in any storm, gratitude in any season, and joy in the presence of our good and holy King.