Grace and Peace Be Unto You
Peace is in hiding. Violence, assaults, shootings, war, rioting, bombing, and public outbursts are in vogue. The global atmosphere is tense and the exchanges between differing viewpoints is toxic. Whatever the issue or group that stands in disagreement with “their opponent”, the feelings that abound are hateful. Nothing that the “adversary” does or says is ever good. “Hurray for our side” is a sure commentary regardless of what “our side” did or failed to do. The division in that kind of vitriolic environment grows more rapidly than dandelions in the spring!
Great leaders have spoken of their opinions of the essence of national peace……If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War. George Washington. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. John F. Kennedy. Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. Ronald Reagan
Jesus came to offer peace. One of His titles is 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 hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27). “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).
We may not be able bring peace to the world, but surrendering to the Lord Jesus in complete submission to His will can provide us a peace of mind that is priceless. How many people do you know that would live to have true peace within their own hearts and lives? Once we truly know Him, there are principles that can assist us in learning to live in peace.
Some years ago, Duke University did a study on “peace of mind.” Factors found to contribute greatly to emotional and mental stability are: 1) The absence of suspicion and resentment. Nursing a grudge was a major factor in unhappiness. 2) Not living in the past. An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression. 3) Not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change. Cooperate with life, instead of trying to run away from it. 4) Force yourself to stay involved with the living world. Resist the temptation to withdraw and become reclusive during periods of emotional stress. 5) Refuse to indulge in self-pity when life hands you a raw deal. Accept the fact that nobody gets through life without some sorrow and misfortune. 6) Cultivate the old-fashioned virtues–love, humor, compassion and loyalty. 7) Do not expect too much of yourself. When there is too wide a gap between self-expectation and your ability to meet the goals you have set, feelings of inadequacy are inevitable. 8) Find something bigger than yourself to believe in. Self-centered egotistical people score lowest in any test for measuring happiness. (Copied). Ultimately, God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. C. S. Lewis.