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Friday, August 24, 2012

We're All Looking for Peace

Most people are looking for peace even if they don't know it. They may think they are looking for fame, riches, power or even just their basic needs in life but they are actually seeking peace.They want to make peace in this world. Their definition of peace is: life without struggle.

Most of these people will never realize any peace. They should watch the lottery winners to see that these people often describe the chaos that winning the lottery brought them. They should look at the people in Hollywood or D.C. and see that the fame and power hasn't delivered peace. There are a lot of people with their basic needs met who have no peace. Their struggles do not change simply because they have received what they were looking for.

Yet, Jesus promised that those who truly follow Him would have peace. In fact, He left His peace with us. He said that His peace was not like the world's peace. I wonder what peace the world has or even thinks it has. I believe this peace is a "wished for" peace rather than a realized one.

I have watched so many westerns in which a dying man says that he has made his peace with his maker. I believe this is a good thing to say in a western but I don't believe the character nor the actor really understands what he has said. You don't make peace with your maker simply because you are going to die. Peace is not something that you can order from God. It is more than saying you are going to heaven.

The type of peace that Jesus offers in one of being one with Him. It is to be His as He is yours. It is having a heart that is "after His own heart." It doesn't remove all the worldly struggles. In fact, it may cause worldly struggles. Many of the people who have completely followed Jesus were and are being martyred. They have been imprisoned, beaten and must worship in hiding. The world would never say that these complete followers have peace but those who fully follow Him would disagree.

Their peace comes from within rather than their circumstances. They know their purpose in life and living that purpose fills their lives. They don't like persecution but their peace doesn't crumble if persecution comes.

Sometimes I find myself worried about things I want to happen. I work to see those things happen. I pray that they will happen. I act sometimes as if I will only have peace if those things happen. However, real peace will never be reached this way. Peace is understanding that I am faithful to my God and He is responsible to bring about things He wants to see. I don't run from crisis to another when I am fully aware of this. I rest. I can do so because I know everything is in His hands.

This, of course, does not mean that I am passive with everything that happens. I am faithful in what He requires of me. I work but I also depend. I wait but I also check my own faithfulness. God never gives me more than He and I can't handle. He just needs me to follow Him. It is here that I find myself in sync with God. It is here that I have peace.

This is not the peace of the world. It goes way beyond that.

John 14:27 (ESV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 

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