Peace in World of Tumult
According to a recent NBC News report, at least 10,000 ISIS militants have been killed in the last 9 months after the efforts of a coalition of countries came together to combat this international force. On Tuesday, a man shot in the Boston area had been watched closely by the FBI who considered him to be a terrorist threat. We hear reports of this sort weekly, if not daily. These events and the reports about them can certainly cause feelings of unrest, anxiety, and uncertainty. While, as Christians, we remain in this world of worry and apprehension, we are commanded not to be of this world. This commandment is easy to forget with so much chaos and evil swirling around us. Fortunately, God’s word is filled with reminders of how and why we can find peace in a not so peaceful world. These reminders are filled with wisdom from above. James 3:17-18 describes the nature of this wisdom: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
While we might not be able to make peace in the whole world, we can at least strive to make and find it in our own homes and church family. On one occasion, Jesus tells John about the role of peace between brethren when he said, “Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another” (Mark 9:50). This passage echoes the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount when he tells his followers to be the “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13) and “light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). Christ’s followers are to reflect the appearance and flavor of Him in their lives, and we should never forget that he is known, among many other names, as the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).
In John chapter 14, Jesus frequently reminds his disciples that loving him means keeping his commandments (vv. 15 and 21-22). He tells them that “I will not leave you as orphans” (vs. 18) and that the Holy Father will send a “Helper, the Holy Spirit” (v. 26) to help them (and us) remember the words of their master when he is gone from them physically. Jesus tells them “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (v. 27). So peace for us in the not so peaceful world that we live in is through the Word of God, the comfort of the Holy Spirit. We can gain access to it by keeping the commandments found in the Word of God and the reminders of it through his Spirit.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice! Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the Peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4-7)