I’ve been in a mood lately. Big and small problems have taken their toll and I find myself living in a sort of melancholy. Then I started studying Jude–you know, that tiny book right before Revelation.
Here was a man with razor sharp focus. In verse 1 he calls himself “a bond-servant of Jesus Christ and the brother of James.” Someone with a bigger ego might have pointed out his half-brother status with the Lord Himself, but to Jude, there was no greater calling than being Jesus’ bond-servant. It’s not about who you are related to but who you serve.
He immediately talks to his readers about who they are.
- The called – We have a purpose. We are on assignment. We have been called to serve in a foreign land working for the King of Kings. This isn’t home, but some day we will be home with that same king. In the meantime, we have a job to do.
- Beloved in God the Father – Talk about a confidence booster! Nothing else matters. We might be mistreated, belittled, or ignored by those around us, but we are beloved in God. Our focus is now completely on serving this God who loves us.
- Kept for Jesus Christ – Our future is secure. We don’t have to worry about the outcome. The path may be rough while we are away from home, but God has ensured we will get home safely. And oh the stories we will have to tell.
Next, we see a list of what Jude’s wish or prayer for them is. “Mercy, peace and love” (vs. 2) multiplied to them. He wants them to have it in abundance. I don’t remember the last time I prayed for someone to have mercy, peace, and love.
Mercy – “kindness or help given to people who are in a very bad or desperate situation.”
Peace – “a state in which there is no war or fighting” “freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.”
Love – “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as the fatherly concern of God for humankind.”
William McDonald’s Believer’s Bible Commentary
Mercy – “God’s compassionate comfort and care in times of conflict and stress.”
Peace – “serenity and confidence that come from reliance on God’s word. Looking above circumstances to the one who overrules all circumstances for His own purposes.”
Love – “the undeserved embrace of God – a super-affection that should then be shared with others.”
A Shift In Focus
So I determined to shift my focus away from my difficulties, and toward the God who works all things for His glory.
I have to say my mood has changed. My circumstances aren’t any different, but after reading these truths my thinking has been adjusted. How or what I think affects my mood. When discouragement sets in it is good for me to remember that I am called, beloved and kept secure; and that someday I will have some amazing stories to tell of God’s abundant mercy, peace and love in my life.
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