Recently I heard a man screaming on the trail near our home, “Get over! What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know you’re supposed to get over? Get over! COVID is here!”
News broadcasts and social media have fed us a steady diet of rioting, burning, looting, and violence over the past months.
Daily we’re bombarded with vicious attack ads lambasting political candidates. Dan Crenshaw accurately describes these days as an “era of outrage.”
Most of us clamor for peace of mind, peace in the streets, and peace in relationships, but fail to recognize the source of our unrest and solution to it.
Just before His departure from this world, Jesus told His disciples, “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, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27)
Peace is the absence of conflict (intra- or interpersonal), so when Jesus expects “peace” to remove fear, He exposes fear as a source of hostility—Fear of losing control, dying, being hurt, failure, and/or inadequacy give rise to ferociousness. When Paul identifies the “deeds of the flesh” as “enmity, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, and factions” (Galatians 5:19,20), he reveals that the ultimate cause of conflict is the evil condition of our human heart. Rebellion against God leads to unrest.
The remedy for our rebellion is the prescription for finding peace, and that comes to us from God through Jesus. “…through Him (Jesus) to reconcile all things to Himself (God), having made peace through the blood of His (Jesus’) cross.” God made it possible for us to be at peace with Him by placing the punishment for our rebellion on His Son, Jesus.
Christ’s payment made must be personally applied. Unused gift cards benefit nobody. We apply Christ’s payment by turning from our rebellion and trusting His sacrifice in our place, and then “we have peace with God” (Romans 5:1).
The disciples’ peace with God prompted Jesus’ promise of peace from God. Peace that comes with the presence of God’s Spirit dwelling within every child of God (John 14:26; 1 Cor. 12:13).
Those at peace with God need not fear dying, rejection, election results, or other things that give rise to hostility, because they have the promise of God’s presence, protection, and promotion to heaven. They also have the power to live at peace with men. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) The peace we long to experience and express is available only through faith in Christ, and it’s available to you.