Rev. Richard Clifford (Holly Woodbridge’s dad) Guest Contributor-
One of my life verses, and a favorite of many, is Jeremiah 29:11 where God says, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to help you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. We sometime miss what follows. Verse 13 continues God’s thought, “If you seek for Me you will find Me (that includes His plan,) when you seek for Me with all your heart.” This was written to God’s people who were exiles in Babylon. Not quite what they had planned.
The apostle Paul’s world was messed up too. In fact, he was in prison for being a Christian when he writes to his Philippians a plan to experience God’s plan and peace. “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts at all times.” My friends, that is still true even in this chaotic world.
The last of my junior year in high school, my mother got gloriously saved. (That is a story in itself) Four or five months later, I was coerced into going to a revival meeting with her. I ended up at an altar, somehow next to a backslider. He prayed for God’s forgiveness. I didn’t know how to pray, so I just said to God, “What that man says, do it for me too.”
My heart had been beating like a tap-hammer under God’s terrible conviction up ‘til that point. Then, suddenly, I felt a great peace in my heart. Oh, I needed lots of teaching, but the peace stayed.
With that peace, comes faith in God and His Word. That is why John Wesley could say, “Our people die well.” He means, with peace. And not just die well but live well. Yes, my friends, in the midst of this chaotic world, God’s people can enjoy the peace of Christ, which the world does not give, and the world cannot take away. Thank God for His love and peace.
-Rev. Richard Clifford (still having the time of his life serving Jesus at 90 years young)