People talk about peace a lot. Looking up the meaning of a word such as peace, one tends to think of a state of non war, without conflict, and tranquility. It seems the more people try to obtain it- whether between countries or personally the harder it is to achieve. In the world peace is used almost as a carrot on a stick, if you vote this way, if you do this thing, if you follow this ideology, you’ll have peace because we’ll give it to you. If you give up something, we’ll have peace. If you follow our plan and unify with us, you’ll have peace. In the world peace is always conditional.
Personal peace in the world’s view is kind of like happiness- it depends on things. If you have a great job you love, enough money, enough recreation, enough pleasure, you’ll have peace. It’s related to comfort and self gratification. Again, conditional- if you meet all the requirements.
For many it seems peace is harder to come by whether societal or personal, and especially hard when there is constant conflict. Sometimes it seems there never will be peace- at least not any lasting kind.
But like love, peace is attainable when we understand what it is and where it comes from. Just as God is love, God is peace, as He is the only source of peace.
So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. Judges 6:24 (a)
The Bible mentions the word peace more than 200 times both in the old and new Testaments. In the old, much of the peace mentioned is between people groups and kingdoms. Jesus talks in the new Testament about a more personal peace given from Himself when He tells the disciples, “My peace I give”.
As believers we should have peace even when the world around us is all in a riot, but it’s not always easy. Even in our day to day lives, often times it’s hard to find any kind of shalom which is the completeness, fullness of mind, body and soul.
I spent much of yesterday quiet, trying to relax with phone and e mail off, but still doing a few things. Trying at the same time to settle down from this past week. It helped some being at a physical rest, even a mental rest, but still not completely at peace. Anxiety still exhibited itself, still too much to distract, and still responsibilities needing to be done. No matter how much I know I should not be anxious, and trust in the Lord for peace, it’s still hard to have it completely. Why?
Because even as Christ died and restored peace between believers and God our Father, the world is still in the fallen state. Humans, animals and even nature has been constantly warring and unsettled and will be until the return of our Lord Jesus.
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. Isaiah 11:6-10
As long as the world is in the temporary dominion of the enemy, we can all work towards peace, but it will not be the perfect peace of God. There is so much in scripture that talks about everlasting peace, peace beyond our understanding, and that will come some day in Christ’s Kingdom.
Like many things believers can look forward to when we go to be with Him, peace is high on my list and I look forward to that more and more every day. Until then, remember He has overcome the world and He is our peace. His is so much more than what the world’s version can offer!
It’s an open porch Sunday! Please share your church messages with us, and have a beautiful and peaceful day!