War or Peace — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

War or Peace — Morning Devotions

God instructs that - "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." Matthew 5:9

By Chris WittsWednesday 6 Dec 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Switch on the TV news and you’ll quickly discover one thing. And that is we don’t live in a peaceful world. Now there’s conflict, and you can see that for yourself. Turmoil in many parts of the world. Much of the news that we watch and hear is bad. It can get you down wondering if there’s ever going to be a time when peace will prevail instead of war.

We hate hatred or bloodshed. And in so many countries today there is war or there’s conflict of one kind or another. And there’s international confrontation, and our age is characterised by this absence of peace, and it can be a concern.

Why do we live in such turmoil?

And I think that one answer is that people’s lives themselves are in turmoil. Outward conflict is merely evidence of an inward problem that men and women have, and the war and the struggles and the strife that goes on in our world. I think it’s simply depicting the inner strife that so many people have and that lack of peace in our nations reflects a lack of peace in the lives of people.

So look, for example, at the quest of peace. For a moment. The peace movements are nothing new. There’s always been, those people who cry peace as they do today. There are demonstrations for peace and individually, many of us do not have peace. We are not at peace within ourselves. And the question is, what actually is true peace anyway? Well, I believe that Jesus gives us the best insight.

And in the Bible in John 14:27 this is what Jesus said. “Peace is what I leave with you. It’s my own peace that I give you. I don’t give it as the world does.”

So here Jesus was giving us a very clear teaching that his peace that he offers to everybody is very different to any other. It’s not so much the absence of conflict. It’s not the stopping of hostility. There’s more to it. And I’m referring today to the peace of God. God himself is the source of true peace, and as we trust in him, we do experience peace from God.

It’s a divine peace that comes from God himself and nothing to do with the circumstances around us because it’s an inner peace in the midst of conflict.

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Why? Because we trust in God and God never changes

You might have heard of David, who wrote many of the Psalms in the Old Testament in Psalm 4:8. He prayed. When I lie down, I go to sleep in peace for you alone, O, Lord, keep me perfectly safe. And that was written by a man who knew what conflict and trouble was really all about. And in fact, for most of his life, David had experienced conflict and hostility that was directed towards himself.

He was pursued and hounded, for example, by King Saul, and there were many enemies. And yet he could say things like this. The Lord will give strength to his people. The Lord will bless his people with peace. That’s Psalm 29:11. So he discovered the truth that it’s the Lord who gives strength, and he believed that God would take care of him. So somehow he learned that the Lord was his peace.

Now, the New Testament, well, it says much about that, too. In fact, this peace is described as peace with God through Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 says “Now that we’ve been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s a wonderful verse. Have a look at it yourself in your Bible. Before we began to trust in God, this inner conflict caused us to be in conflict with God himself.

And there was this sort of separation between us and him. But when we surrender to Jesus Christ, the hostilities finish and we have peace with God. Let me finish here today with another wonderful statement. This is Philippians 4:7 from the New Testament. God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.

So it’s unlike any other. It’s God’s peace in your life and in mine. And when you have that peace deep inside, you can face whatever problems will come.

Let’s Pray

Well, Lord, sometimes we need to close off the past and open our minds to the future into new experiences. And, Lord, we do not feel at peace. But I pray that you’ll give us a vision of your love that will open our eyes to your peace, to your grace and your truth. And that will energise us for not just today but for the future.

And I offer this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.