The State of Peace
by Rev. Tom Gray
We tend to think of peace as the absence of war. Certainly, by some definitions that can be true but the Christian understanding of peace is not just the temporary absence of conflict.
Peace for a believer is not the absence of conflict, but a state of relationship with God through Christ Jesus. In this relationship our hearts and minds can experience well-being and hope even in conflict. The Apostle Paul brought the message of the Prince of Peace to the Western World. Yet preaching that message angered some. He was flogged for his faith, chased out of a couple of towns because of his preaching, and ultimately was executed for being faithful to Jesus. Listen to what he says:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:8ff.
Our culture seems to be more angry and confrontational than I’ve ever known it to be. At times, it’s tempting to be anxious and withdraw, but more than ever we need the healing message of the Gospel to be lived out and spoken out in love. And we also need that sense of peace in our own lives. Remember what Jesus said:
“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.” John 14:27