Wouldn’t it be wonderful to experience a world at peace – no wars, nations helping each other, food for poorer nations, general prosperity? Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee peace in any country, because we can’t even control ourselves. We only need to look at what’s happening in the Middle East – terrorist threats, ongoing hostilities, suicide bombings, ethnic violence, religious hatred and fear of kidnapping. Destructive confrontations between people and nations seem to be the norm. The sad truth is that we live in a world full of evil.
Why No Peace?
There is a common cause for every case of violence, bloodshed, and cruelty. Jesus said, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Mt. 15:19 NIV). In other words all the evil we see in the world today, whether it’s war or rotten human behavior, is the result of the innate evil in the heart of every person. We have drifted so far from the high moral and ethical standards that God has set for us that we are without hope of seeing peace in this world, and can only expect eternal punishment for our actions. God has said that we all have to give account for every act, word and sin committed during our lifetime.
Not only don’t we find peace in the world, but most of us don’t even have peace in our own hearts. The Bible says, “There is no one righteous, not even one … All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips … Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom. 3:10-18).
Source Of Peace
While we may not find peace in the world, we can find peace in our own lives when we find peace with a Holy God who wants not only to forgive our evil ways, but help us to experience a change of life. This can only happen when we accept what He has provided for reconciliation with Himself, and then begin to live the new life He has promised.
Jesus told the religious ruler Nicodemus that he must be “born again” to begin a relationship with God and receive eternal life (Jn. 3:1-21). Jesus came into the world to bridge the huge gap between a Holy God and sinful people. He died in our place, taking the punishment we deserve because of the sins we commit and our inherent sinful nature. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).
When we come to God on His terms, He has promised us salvation for eternity and peace in our lives right now. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (Jn. 14:27).
Even though there will never be peace in this world until Jesus, the Messiah, comes to establish real peace in His kingdom, we can live with the calming certainty that He is in control, and we can enjoy an inner peace which comes from a secure, personal relationship with our Creator God. It is in God, His Word the Bible, and salvation through His Son Jesus that we find true inner peace.
“For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him (Jesus), and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Col. 1:19-22).
When you put your trust in the Lord Jesus and receive forgiveness for sin and reconciliation with God, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
By Ian Taylor
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org