Another look at peace - Hope 103.2

Another look at peace

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsThursday 17 Apr 2014Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes

Transcript:

All you need do tonight is switch on the TV news and you will quickly discover we don’t live in a peaceful world. There is conflict and turmoil in many parts of the world,and much of the news is bad. It can get you down,wondering if there will ever be a time when peace will prevail instead of war,hatred or bloodshed. In so many countries today there is war or conflict of one kind or another,and international confrontation. Our age is characterised by an absence of peace.

Why do we live in such turmoil? I think one answer is that people’s lives are in turmoil. Outward conflict is merely evidence of an inward problem that men and women have. The war,struggles,strife that goes on in our world is simply depicting the inner strife that so many people have. Lack of peace in nations reflects a lack of peace in people’s lives. Look at the quest for peace for a moment. Peace movements are nothing new. There have always been those who cry “peace” as they do today. There are demonstrations for peace. Yet,individually,we do not have peace. We are not at peace within ourselves. Why? What is true peace anyway?

Jesus gives us the best insight when He said in John 14:27 “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does”. Here Jesus gives us clear teaching that His peace is different to any other. It’s not about the absence of conflict… it’s not the stopping of hostility. There’s more to it. It’s about true inner peace.

I’m referring now to the peace of God. God is the source of true peace. As we trust in Him,we experience peace from God. Really,it’s a divine peace which comes from God Himself,and not the circumstances around us. It’s an inner peace in the midst of conflict because we trust in God,who is unchangeable. David wrote many of the Psalms in the Old Testament,and in Psalm 4:8 he prayed ‘When I lie down,I go to sleep in peace; You alone,O Lord,keep me perfectly safe”. This was written by a man who knew what conflict and trouble was all about. For most of his life,David had experienced conflict and hostility directed towards himself. He was pursued and hounded by King Saul and he had many enemies. Yet he could say things like “The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11). He discovered the truth that it is the Lord who gives strength,and he believed God would take care of him. Somehow he learned that the Lord was his peace. The New Testament has much to say as well. In fact,this peace is described as peace with God through Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 says “Now that we have been put right with God through faith,we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Before we began to trust in God,our inner conflict caused us to be in conflict with God Himself. There was a type of separation between us and Him. But when we surrender to Jesus Christ,the hostilities cease. Then we have peace with God.

There’s another wonderful statement in the Bible. Philippians 4:7 says “God’s peace,which is far beyond human understanding,will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus”. It’s a peace unlike any other,which is God’s peace inside your life,and it surprises you because its there in bad times when you normally wouldn’t feel at peace. With His peace deep inside,we can face whatever problems may come. Jesus said “I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave. I have defeated the world” (John 16:33). I think the main thing to remember here is that if you want to be at peace with others and yourself,you must have a relationship with Jesus. When we live in a trusting relationship with Him,we know He cares for us and will take care of our needs. Then,when problems come,we can rest in His love,and experience peace.  Psalm 29:11 has this promise – “The Lord gives strength to his people and blesses them with His peace”.