Peace is one of the most essential needs of man. It is true that the basic needs of man are often mentioned in terms of food, clothing and housing but without peace, these essential needs become difficult and almost impossible to attain.
Due to the importance of peace, immediately after the Second Word War, the United Nations was established and its main aim was the maintenance of international peace and security.
Since its establishment, there have been various armed conflicts in different parts of the world in which many have died. According the University of Michigan’s Correlates of War project, there were a total of 194 actual wars between 1945 and 2001 and this does not include over 3000 disputes which were not classified as actual wars. In spite of its efforts, it is obvious that the UN is incapable of maintaining word peace.
Peace is such an elusive commodity in our world. You only need to switch on the Television and listen to the news which mostly contains reports of crime, terrorism and conflicts between and within nations. Conflicts abound everywhere - You find it in the workplace, in families, in churches and within individuals.
Peace is so important to human existence that Jesus told his disciples before He ascended to heaven, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27, NKJV) You can see from that verse that Jesus qualified the kind of peace that He gives. “Not as the world gives”. The peace that the world gives is often only temporary. Conflicts are resolved only to flare up again as soon as one of the parties violate the terms of the peace agreement.
In Phillipians 4: 7 we read, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
While it is easy to see external conflicts between individuals, groups and nations, it is very difficult to ascertain the inner conflict that goes on within individuals. Many who are unable to deal with those conflicts often end up depending on things such as drugs, sex, and the relentless pursuit of money to avoid dealing with the underlying problem. We all experience internal conflicts but how we deal with it determines our emotional and mental well being. God’s peace is the only antidote for resolving these internal conflicts.
Every day is filled with news and events that creates feelings of anxiety and fear in people. No matter who you are, where you come from, or the colour of your skin, we all know fear and anxiety. We worry about the future, we worry about our children, we grieve the loss of a loved one. Even now, Christians and non Christians alike from all over the world grieve with the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas over the senseless killing of 25 people who went to church to worship God.
Jesus invites us to bring all our fears, anxiety and burdens to him and in exchange, He will gives us His peace. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
If you are already a believer and follower of Jesus, then you already have access to His peace. That however is not enough, we are called to be peacemakers. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9) Our role is to serve as God’s ambassadors here on earth. Our words should be aimed at promoting peace nit to instigate conflict and violence. Our Churches should offer a sanctuary for troubled hearts and our homes should be a place where people can sense a peace that transcends their understanding.
Want peace? God is offering. What have you got to lose? Your fears, Your anxieties, your worries, your grief… The list goes on.