Aching for Peace

Aching for Peace July 14, 2014

    Do peoplewant peace?  Resoundingly yes, since Amazon has 99 thousand search resultsfor peace, half again more than for happiness.  The volume of the resultsstrongly implies that peace is not easily found.
    Is peace an absence or a presence?  It’s valid to speakof peace as an absence of war or anxiety, but limiting the term in that waydoesn’t do it justice.  Nor is peace the Buddhist goal of desiring nothing. Peace is the positive presence of good instead of trouble.
    Peace was on the minds of God’s people in the Old Testament;“Peace” was their greeting and farewell.  Jesus is named the “Prince ofPeace” in Isaiah 9.  A major category of sacrifice in the Old Testamentwas the peace offering.  These offerings were for God, the priest, and theworshipper, unlike other sacrifices.  Peace therefore comes fromfellowship.
    God guarantees some people will not have peace.  TwiceIsaiah says, “There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.” Christians are guaranteed trouble in this life.  Luke 12:51 says, “Do youthink that I have come to bring peace on earth?  No, I tell you, butrather division.”  A world that hates Christ will hate those who followhim.
    Romans 5:1 links peace with justification: “Therefore, sincewe have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord JesusChrist.”  This is what God’s people in the old covenant experienced aswell, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because hetrusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). 
    Peace is directly connected to Jesus Christ taking away theseparation between God and man that our rebellion had produced.  Isaiah.53 says, “Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace.” 
    How do we live out peace?  Proverbs. 3:17 points us towisdom, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace.” 
    What do we do for others’ peace?  Sandwiched in between“Repay no one evil for evil” and “never avenge yourselves” is Romans 12:18, “Ifpossible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
    Like so many things, peace is a choice.  Colossians3:15 says, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeedyou were called in one body, and be thankful.”
    I look at events in my life and I want peace.  I haveto have something bigger than those events.
    Don’t try to will yourself to peace or settle for limitedpeace.  Reflect on peace as a promised result of the fellowship with Godthat salvation brings his people.  2 John 1:3 says, “Grace, mercy, andpeace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’sSon, in truth and love.”