We live in a troubled world, and when we are committed to follow Jesus, we run into more trouble. Remember his words and the context:
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
God’s consolation includes wisdom in knowing how to be as wise as serpents, yet as harmless as doves (again, Jesus’ words). We need that in this world, in fact it seems at times even in our relationships with other believers. It seems in our highly individualistic society, we’re hardly aware, much less committed to living as a body in unity in Jesus in this world. And yet the Spirit in us works to that end, while at the same time we’re told to make every effort to keep that unity of the Spirit.
Of course there will be spiritual battles out there. Perhaps largely under the radar- hardly known to us, once in a while- in our face.
God comes to us with wisdom and often with consolations. Sometimes, and maybe for some of us during some seasons, quite often, our perspectives are laden with fears about what might happen if we act faithfully. And sometimes we’re not sure just how to act to be faithful. Too often I’ve had it in my head in the past that this is plain like a science, but there’s an art to it as well. I’ve always thought it should be done in love, but sometimes just how to do it seems to have eluded me. Because it would not come across well when I did it, no matter how loving I tried to be, or at least humble in expressing it.
God brings consolation in the sense of wisdom over time. We want to be obedient, but not according to our understanding, but in the Jesus way. Submitting to him in every situation. Too often we think that we simply need to do something when within ourselves God’s work needs to be done. And for that to happen, we need to be open, to humble ourselves and listen, ready to repent and change. A change of heart, and then of life, of actions.
Of course inwardly we need to repent of any wrong we have inside or out which we’re aware of. And to pray the prayer of examen from the psalms that God would indeed search our hearts and know our anxious thoughts to see if anything offensive is in us, and then to lead us in the way everlasting. We need to take it slow in trying to correct a problem with another, and yet we need to be committed to that end.
God’s consolation. For us together in Jesus as his light of love even through us to and for the world.