Looking For Peace
Here we are at the last Sunday of 2018. It seems years go by rather rapidly. The world is filled with turmoil, anger, strife, hatred. We are bombarded daily with negativity through the media and other sources. When Jesus said that he would leave us with peace, his peace, he introduced something that the world does not and cannot have. In fact, most believers struggle to find that kind of peace. He said that his peace would pass all understanding. So, the peace that passes understanding is not attainable by exercises of the mind. His peace is revealed by the Holy Spirit to the inner man, you inside, down deep in the soul.
In the face of criticisms, complaints, negative talk, accusations, cyber bullying, lies spoken, personal attacks, and character assassinations, the Christian has a source of peace, positivity, and hope. In the face of the stream of negativity and angst, the Christian is called to swim counter culturally and provide a flow of hope and positivity. In the face of fear, worry, and hopelessness the Christian can truly offer and display a life and message of peace, meaning, eternal and temporal hope.
The battle for each believer is to not be drawn into the ways and speech of the world. This is not easy. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. We cannot run away and hide and fulfill our calling to go to the world. Hiding the light of Jesus under a basket, as he illustrated, is not our calling. Yet, many want to hide in the safety of withdrawal from the world, or bind themselves in such a legalistic approach that they are useless in reaching a dying world because they do not love the people.
Yes, we are called to reach out to the people who are negative. We have some who have dropped out of life choosing to waste themselves with pleasures, drugs, and any form of escape. We have others who are angry and are activists who choose violence and rage. There is no peace in their souls. There are those who lose themselves in the money chase and believe riches are the answer. They end up always chasing the carrot dangling in front of their eyes only to be disappointed in the long run. Even in the Christian world there are futile chases that lead to emptiness. We have the drop outs who sit and never share their faith. They are comfortable with church attendance, but there is no drive or joy in their faith. There are also those who use their faith as an escape, researching, reading, devotions, books, but never engage the world. For pastors and leaders it can be the push to be successful, numbers, finances, buildings, programs etc. It becomes a paper chase of success and comparison. Where is the peace? Where is the engagement with the mandate of Christ?
When we reach the place where the peace of Christ reigns we are positioned to be light and salt to a confused and angry world. The world is made up of suffering individuals caught in the turmoil of life and the battle for the souls of men and women.
Let us work to find that peace in Christ and let us live in peace with one another. Let us love one another and exemplify the desire of the Lord.