Peace in a World of Unrest

Virtually every year, during the Miss America, Miss Universe, Miss USA, or Miss Whatever pageant, there is that one contestant who is asked, “What is your dream for mankind?” And the standard response is, “World peace.” We live in a world where conflict and turmoil are around every corner. The television, the radio, the newspapers; virtually every media outlet is saturated with school shootings, terrorist attacks, civil unrest in foreign countries, rape, kidnapping, and the like. Is peace even a possibility in such an unstable environment? Most would agree that peace is a valued commodity, so why is it so elusive? In order to capture peace, we must know precisely what it is we are pursuing.

Look up the word peace in any standard dictionary and you will find a definition similar to this one: “Peace is the normal, non-warring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world. It is an agreement or treaty between warring or antagonistic nations, groups, etc., to end hostilities and abstain from further fighting or antagonism. It is a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations.” The worldview of peace is the absence of conflict or turmoil. It is the lack of trouble, hardship or crisis. Peace is often synonymous with comfort and tranquility because these are the by-products of peace. However, the dictionary does not do the concept of peace justice. For the truest definition of peace, we must go to a higher source—the Word of God.

Biblical peace is not the absence of all trouble. Biblical peace is the presence of God. Peace comes from trusting that God is in control. It is produced when we surrender fully to God and succumb wholeheartedly to His will. The Apostle Paul wrote, “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, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7). Paul wrote these words from a dark, damp prison cell. Though behind bars, peace was not elusive for Paul because he trusted in the One who was in control.

We, too, can experience the peace that surpasses all comprehension. We have been granted access to this peace. True peace is found in Jesus Christ. Christ died to overcome the world and to bring us peace. In fact, He is referred to as The Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). Take note of His words in The Gospel of John: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” What a glorious thought and a profound promise that our Lord has won the victory over worldly strife. In Him we also have victory, and that should bring us peace.

Do you have peace? If not, then seek the source. Don’t be held hostage by conflict and turmoil. Rise victorious!

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