In a world of war, terror, famine, disease, refugees, widows, orphans, homeless, and great troubles of every kind…how can we, as Christians, claim to have peace?
In this second week of Advent; the week of peace, I shared part of these thoughts on KICY radio during the prayer program, Careforce, this morning.
Peace: More Than a Feeling –
Part of the problem we American Christians have is that we often believe the world when it tells us peace is a temporary, fleeting feeling. To the world, often, peace is equal to comfort, or safety, or quiet. This fragile description of peace can shatter at any time. According to the world, much like losing the feeling of love, we can lose the feeling of peace. But love is much more than a feeling: it is a sacrificial commitment and a constant conscious decision to put another’s needs first. Likewise, peace is much more than a feeling: it is the objective state of being in a restored harmonious relationship. Humans can fail to love, but God never stops loving us. Human peace can fail, but if we have surrendered our lives to Christ, God will never again war against us.
Peace: A Treaty –
What the world cannot fathom is that the peace of God which surpasses all understanding is not based on conditions that change. However, we are not born with God’s peace. We are born with a sin nature that causes us to be at war with God, at war with others, and even at war within our own souls. The only way to bring a stop to the hostility is by accepting the peace treaty that was written with the blood of Jesus Christ. When we accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, we are accepting a peace treaty with God. The peace of God only can come through the condition of a surrendered life walking daily with Jesus Christ. When we do this, no longer will God pour out His wrath upon us. Though we may sometimes stumble and fall, though the world around us rages on, God will never falter on His end of the peace treaty.
Peace: A Restored Relationship –
When we have the peace of God, we not only have a restored relationship with God, the Creator of the universe, but through the seal of the Holy Spirit, we have a restored relationship with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Not only does the peace treaty of Jesus Christ call for a ceasefire between us and God, but it also calls for an end to hostilities between all Believers. No matter what great trouble is going on in the world, the Body of Christ remains constant. We can count on the fellowship of those who have accepted God’s peace treaty. Though we as individuals may fail, the Holy Spirit within us will not. Furthermore, the peace of God also restores the relationship we have with our very own souls. When we accept the peace of God, we accept what our true identity is: a dearly beloved child of God, made in God’s very image.
When we have a restored relationship with God, with others in the Church, and with ourselves, we realize that we have a purpose much great than seeking a feeling of temporary comfort, safety, or quiet. Peace leads us to our purpose to go into all the world to declare the Good News, preaching, teaching, baptizing, and discipling. When we cling to the peace treaty of Jesus Christ, we hold to a permanent, unwavering, restored harmonious relationship. That is how we as Christians can claim to have peace in a world with every kind of great trouble. And it all started in a humble manager with the birth of the Prince of Peace.
Do you have peace?
Isaiah 9:6 – “For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Ephesians 2:12-22 – “12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”