Everybody wants world peace, but it may not always be possible. It is a desire that we all share, but it is not our primary objective. Suppose a wife seeks counsel with the goal of having some more peace in her home. Nobody can guarantee that. To do so they would have to be able to control every person in the home and that is impossible. Jesus said you should “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will he given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). Isaiah said, “The fruit of righteousness will be peace” (Isaiah 32:17). That kind of peace is related to our internal order, not to the external order of this world. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Peace with God is something we already have (Romans 6:1). The peace of God that guards our hearts and our minds is something we need to appropriate on a daily basis (Philippians 4:7). The only one who can give us that peace is the Prince of Peace. 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 heart be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). The peace of Christ that rules in our hearts stands in stark contrast to the false prophets of this world. “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is not peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush” Jeremiah 6:14-15).

We should pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for all the troubled spots of the world. We should seek to unite this world in peaceful reconciliation, because Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Peace can be humanly negotiated so that we can co-exist without destroying ourselves. That kind of peace only heals wounds superficially. The tension will always be there unless we resolve the inner conflicts. To accomplish inner peace we have to work toward righteousness, “the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever” (vs. 17). We can have an inner peace in the midst of an external storm. Peace comes when we quiet our hearts before the Lord. In the midst of external confusion, submit to God’s presence in your life.

Dr. Neil

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