The world seeks peace. But since almost the beginning it seems peace cannot be found. The first couple found themselves at odds with God over their sin (Genesis 3:6). As a consequence they lost both of their sons, one as a victim of murder and the other as the murderer (Genesis 4:8). Turmoil would continue to plague mankind until it could be said that men were always evil (Genesis 6:5).
Trouble continues to our day. Terrorists seek our destruction and are acquiring the most horrendous of weapons to accomplish that task. Pirates prowl international waters stealing and taking hostages. Conflicts in faraway places have turned thousands to flight and rape has become a weapon of war. In our own backyards criminals are more brazen than ever and steal and rob even the weakest among us. Child predators prowl our communities. Where is peace?
Jesus is called the “prince of peace” by Isaiah (Isaiah 9:6). It was Jesus who calmed the sea with a command of “Peace” (Mark 4:39). Jesus promised peace to his apostles (John 14:27) and as he was about to ascend back to heaven he said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:21, 26). But in spite of these words and promises there seems to be no peace. Why?
Peace and Sin Do Not Exist Together
Sin is a part of our world. It is inescapable because it lives within each of us. No matter how good we think we are, we sin (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8-10). Where sin goes, peace flees. Until sin is fully conquered there will be no peace. Even the ongoing war between good and evil brings turmoil. We forget that it was Jesus who said plainly “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” (Luke 12:52). He continues in that same passage to declare that the conflict would be most personal, that is, between members of a family. When some are righteous and some not, conflict always follows.
The Domain of Darkness Rules With Chaos
We know that Satan was defeated when Jesus arose from the grave (John 20:1). We know that it is by his blood we are saved from wrath (Romans 5:9). And we know that we have been removed from Satan’s domain (Colossians 1:13). But we still live in the world with Satan’s constant influence. He is the power that is presently at work in our world (Ephesians 2:2). Although Satan is defeated and will be eternally punished (Revelation 20:10) he still wields great influence in our world. Is it any wonder that peace is so elusive in the present world?
Where is Peace?
The Christian’s peace is an eternal, everlasting peace. It is a peace that exists not within our world but within our hearts or spirits. It is beyond our understanding (Philippians 4:7). But most importantly, it is a peace between ourselves and an ever-righteous God who will punish all evildoers eternally (Romans 5:9). While we may struggle against the wicked in this world we know we have peace with God.
Struggling in this life is our task. Certainly our Lord was beset by the wicked as were his followers. We will have tribulation in this world but we rest in the knowledge that Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33) and that is a victory he gives to us. Real peace is ours now through Jesus Christ.