The Peace Process
One of the last things Jesus told His disciples before leaving this world was, ‘In this world, you will have trouble’ (John 16:33 NIV 2011 Edition). And He was right, wasn’t He?
We all experience stress, occupational demands, deadlines, expectations, personal pressures ganging up on us and constantly trying to rob us of the peace we desperately desire. No one is immune to stress, frustration, and the feeling that we’re on the ‘superhighway of life’.
What is all this but the absence of peace?
And the answer can’t be found in a pill, a possession, or anything that gives us pleasure. All those things wear off or wear out. The Bible talks about three different kinds of peace.
Let’s look at them:
1) Peace with others. ‘As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone’ (Romans 12:18 NIV 2011 Edition). This is external peace, and it’s necessary for human relationships to flourish.
2) Peace with yourself. ‘Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts’ (Colossians 3:15 NIV 2011 Edition). This is internal peace, a rest of mind and soul that escapes most of us.
3) Peace with God. ‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Romans 5:1 NIV 2011 Edition). This is eternal peace, and it comes from knowing you’ve a right relationship with God. So here’s how it works: when you’re at peace with God you’ll be at peace with yourself, and when you’re at peace with yourself you’ll be at peace with others. That, in a nutshell, is the peace process!
‘Great peace have they who love your [word], and nothing can make them stumble.’ Psalm 119:165 NIV (1984 Edition)