ETHEL’S EYE was caught by an advert in the paper. “I must buy that—it will solve all my problems!”
“No, mother” exclaimed her longsuffering son, “it’s a funeral plan. It won’t stop you falling over or getting ill or worrying about the state of the world. Pass it here. Oh, you can’t buy it anyway, you’re too old.”
It may be a comfort to know that your funeral expenses are paid in advance. However, this comfort is limited in its scope and only lasts for your lifetime. The ‘for ever’ is relatively short.
In contrast the Bible talks of things, including life, which really can last for ever. God has always existed and always will exist. Jesus, now raised from the dead, cannot die and shares God’s divine nature (Romans 6:9). This all-powerful God offers us a peace beyond our natural experience: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). This peace is the serenity that comes from being ‘at peace’ with God.
Jesus told his disciples not to be afraid because he would give them peace (John 14:27). He also said:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
There is not much peace in this life. We are all surrounded to some degree by trouble, illness and injustice. Christians are not protected from these troubles. Indeed many are persecuted or even killed for their faith (Matthew 5:10–11, Acts 12:1–2). But followers of Christ are assured that God is in control of their lives and can use the troubles for good:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
And the purpose of God is to offer us eternal life—like Jesus—in a world that will ultimately be free of sorrow, pain and death itself: in fact total world peace:
He will swallow up death for ever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces (Isaiah 25:8). See also Revelation 21:4 and Isaiah 35:10.
Unlike the offer that caught Ethel’s eye, God offers us peace of mind now and complete peace for ever. And age is no barrier—anyone who believes and tries to follow Jesus can accept his offer.