November 19, 2021

November 19, 2021

November 19, 2021

Mark Hicks
Clergy
Mountain View District

Calm in Every Circumstance
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 NIV

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[a] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

Devotion

There is an ancient story of an old man that lived in a small home in a quiet village. One day an invading army came through destroying, pillaging, and killing. When the old man saw what was happening, he took a seat on the floor of his modest home. Soon a soldier broke through the door with his sword drawn. He walked up to the old man and placed the tip of his sword in the old man’s belly. The old man simply sat there. He never flinched. The solder glared. The old man showed no fear.

“What’s the matter with you, old man?” The soldier yelled. “Don’t you know I can ram you through without blinking an eye?”

The old man replied, “Don’t you know that I can be rammed through without blinking an eye?”

Now, thankfully, in all likelihood we will have not have to face such a perilous moment. However, there is plenty in this life that is scary, intimidating, overwhelming, and stressful. Is it possible to have that kind of bravery in the mist of our own perils? Is it possible to have calm resilience in the face of hardships?

Remember how Jesus stood before Pilate. He was facing the most horrific of moments, yet he quietly faced every intimidation. When asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You have said so” (Mark 15:2). In the midst of all stress, Jesus showed pure calm.

As a result, we are told in verse 27 of today’s passage, He “has put everything under his feet.” That means everything. That thing that we find intimidating in our lives is under the feet of Jesus. That person that is bullying us is under the feet of Jesus. That situation that is overwhelming is under the feet of Jesus. The event that is so scary is under the feet of Jesus. Everything that would do us harm, even to the point of death itself, is under the feet of Jesus.

This does not mean that we will get everything we want. It does not mean bad events will be avoided. Bad things happened to Jesus, Peter, Paul, John and every other person who ever lived. It is not a question of whether we will face bad things, it is a question of whether we will be overwhelmed by them. Jesus does not promise that bad things will be avoided; the promise is that the bad things are under his feet. Nothing we face is more powerful than the Spirit of Christ that is within us.

There is a place of power in the spiritual life that brings this kind of reassurance. There is a place that brings calm in the midst of the storm. It is a place where bad things happen, and yet it is still ok. It is always ok, even when life goes wrong, because it is all under the feet of Christ.

This place of calm does not come through willpower, grit, or determination. It only comes through the power of God. Jesus, Himself, showed us this in the Garden of Gethsemane. Before Jesus stood with such unshakable calm before Pilate, He was in the Garden pouring His heart out to the Father. He laid out his anxieties. He asked for an easier path. In the end, the Father gave strength and Jesus stood with perfect calm. In doing so, through His sacrifice, all the world us under His dominion and we will never face a hardship beyond his power.

The world is a big, scary, intimidating, overwhelming place; but “greater is He that is in you, that he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).

Prayer

Lord, the world is a scary place, full of intimidation and harm. Yet, all is under your feet. Give us strength to endure, calm to face, and peace that passes all understanding. Amen.