Let Our Ordered Lives Confess

The great old hymn Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind contains these insightful words:

Take from our souls the strain and stress,

And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of Thy peace.

What a blessing it is to have some order and peace in this chaotic and disorderly world. We can hope for this because our heavenly Father is the God of peace, not the god of confusion (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:20; 1 Cor. 14:33). His instructions order our lives and save us from so much of the chaos and uncertainty that surrounds us. 

James tells us that “disorder and every evil thing” (Jas. 3:16) result from selfishness and jealousy. Sometimes it’s our own selfishness, and sometimes it comes from others—but mostly it’s our mutual jealousies and ambitions working against each other. 

This is not the life we wish, but it’s one we too often have, even if we’re God’s people. The apostle Paul one time had to delay a visit to Christians in Corinth because he was “afraid” he’d find them in “strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance [and] disturbances” (2 Cor. 12:20). He didn’t want to see them in that way, and they didn’t want to live like that either—but there they were. Yet the apostle was confident that by gospel instruction and repentant hearts, their lives could change to show the well-ordered peace of God.