This morning as I was walking home from the bank, I met a friend with her baby in a stroller. She was walking a long side Magazine Street with her dog where I live in Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She said: “There is a street I am looking for; it is filled with trees, so serene, quiet and calm, It is a long Magazine Street.” I was compelled to see this Street she described in a fascinating fashion. I followed her to see this Street she visualized so powerfully. She continues. “It makes me feel I am in the country side and I love it. I am looking for a place to buy a home.” We set out to find the Street she was looking for.
Suddenly, it dawned on me, how people are really searching for something; people are longing for something; a place they can escape and relax. There is turmoil, violence, rumors of wars; our politics is full of tension and division. People are longing for peace and quiet from all of these turmoil and terrible news they hear everyday. My friend and I talked about what is happening in our society: how it is all about sex; everything is about money; sex is equated for love; You rarely can find genuine love anymore - two people who truly and genuinely love each other. Women want to marry men with money. They know they don’t love the man, yet they move in pretend they love the man and break the home, or the man’s heart; get some money and leave. Men also want women with money to marry, nothing of love and respect in love relationship anymore. It is all about money. It is like we have lost our way. Sex is adult movie thing devoid of love and respect. Second amendment to bear arms has been reduced to making illicit money through guns. Many are dying everyday through guns.
Tell me how we can have peace? That is why there is so much turmoil and restlessness in out societies. It is all about money; it is all about sex. Spiritual realities are completely avoided. The Scripture says: “There is a way that seems good unto a man, but that way is the way that leads to death.” We as a society have chosen the way of death- the way that leads to conflict in ourselves and the world.
What is Peace?
Peace is one of the greatest riches of God’s grace to humanity. Humans were in disobedience to God and through the blood of Jesus, they became reconciled back to God and our sins wiped away. There is no torment greater than a guilty conscience. “My peace I give to you.” God through his blood gave humanity peace back.
The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom meaning:
• At ease
• To be whole
Other Meaning of peace:
• Absence of conflict
• Law and order
• Treaty and ceasefire
How Can You Possess Peace?
The Scripture says: “Great peace have they who love thy law and nothing shall make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165
You can only possess God’s peace as you obey His commandments. The ability to have the power to obey God’s commandments rests on your acceptance of salvation given to humanity through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. When you believe Jesus died and paid the penalty of your sin with His blood on the cross, then you are given power through the Holy Spirit to live and obey His commandments. That is the only way to have peace.
There is no ingenuity of man, his intellectual acumen, political schemes, fame, or anything humanly possible that can guarantee peace on earth; except what Jesus did for humanity on the cross-confessing sin and accepting He died for those sins. You confess what you believe with your mouth. That is the only way the Holy Spirit gives peace. “My peace I give to you, not as the world giveth it.” The ability to keep His commandments gives peace.
Peace doesn’t come from having so much money; so much sex. so many in our society are bent on having money by all means, in all kinds of ways. The result is that banks are very corrupt and gambling with people’s money; businesses are corrupt and will not create jobs and yet they have so much cash; we are losing faith in what matters like education, healthcare. To some these are non essentials. Peace comes as we learn to do God’s will through obedience to His commandments. In that way, individually and collectively, we can influence our communities, societies and the world.
What Can Peace Do For You Individually
Peace allows you to operate from a calm and quiet, spirit or mind. Your mind is at ease; made whole. You can’t achieve anything with a confused and restless mind. For me as a writer, my mind has to be at peace, at ease and calm, prayerful before I can write and create.
The Scriptures says: “Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stead on thee: because he trusted in thee.” Isaiah 26:3 When you know the Lord, you have peace because you are learning to love and obey Him. It creates trust and confidence in the Lord who is faithful to the believer. You are not rattled by any circumstances of life. Your mind is restful and secure in the Lord because of His promises that are real and true. He keeps your mind at peace because you have your faith in Him.
God’s peace is so profound and assuring, restful, calm and serene; it doesn’t matter what you are going through in life, God’s peace sustains you in times of the greatest trials in life. Madam Guyon, author of “Her Sole Crime Was That Of Loving God” was a French noble and rich Christian woman, who was imprisoned unjustly in the 17th century by the Church. They took all her money, everything she had and imprisoned her in Vincennes. Listen to what she said about peace while in prison:
“While I was prisoner at Vincennes, and Monsieur De La Reine examined me, I passed my time in great peace, content to pass the rest of my life there, if such were the will of God. I sang songs of joy, which the maid who served me learned by heart, as fast as I made them. We together sang your praises, O, my God! The stones of my prison looked in my eyes like rubies; I esteemed them more than all the gaudy brilliancies of a vain world. My heart was full of that joy which Thou givest to them who love Thee, in the midst of their greatest crosses.”
This is the kind of peace God gives to those who love and obey Him; at all times, trials or in joyous times. No trials of life can destroy their peace or lapse them into fear or confusion because they have their faith and trust in the Lord; and He gives peace that goes beyond the lusts of this life which John describes as “the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.” In trial, God’s people see the nothingness of this life; that there is something higher and better than material attainment in life only.
But when you have not obeyed the will of God or broken His commandments; for example you lied or stole, you immediately lose your peace. When you harbor hatred or hate others: that makes you restless and unhappy because you are not obedient to God’s will; ‘which says love your neighbor, and do good to those who hate and despise you.’ If this attitude is not changed can lead to dangerous tendencies. That person who hates others will never experience God’s peace; or who violates God’s will or commandments. The Scriptures says:
“But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my Lord to the wicked.” Isaiah 57:20&21
Peace In Our Nation:
So many things are going wrong in our nation that doesn’t foster peace.
• We have become such a divided nation. There is no nation on earth that professes faith in God like America, but that faith is not real in the lives of people. Many people know what the Scripture says, but fail to adhere to the truth they know. Should we do that, they will be more unity among us: black, white, rich or poor. They will be more kindness and compassion towards each other.
• When you look at Congress, why should they not come together and do the people’s business? Because of political differences? Should that take compassion out that should help the common people who elected you to Congress? They have no jobs, they are struggling; they have no healthcare; what has politics to do with human compassion- whether people are democrats or republicans? These things don’t foster peace.
• If the left is far left and breaking God’s laws, then the right should pray for them. Remember when you were a sinner not saved by grace what you did, but God’s mercy saved you. There is no one beyond redemption, so will God save those deemed sinners, not doing God’s will. God who made salvation follows the sinner through their grave; so you who is redeemed should be humble and remember you are a sinner saved by grace, and nothing of your righteousness. Yet many of those who claim righteousness are full of hate and lies, causing so much division in the nation. That is why we need revival. These actions don’t foster peace.
• God says love your neighbor. That means those deemed poor, don’t despise them. Help them find jobs; those who are rich and have companies. I don’t like to hear the Republicans talking about repealing Healthcare when it is actually for the poor; and has been recently documented that President Obama’s health care upheld by the Supreme Court will save 84 billion dollars over the next 11 years. To classify health care as non essentials to be eliminated will only cause more misery for the poor and creates and intensifies class system: something that is a right for all Americans. Repealing healthcare is so unchristian and hollow.
• The gun control poises another grave problem that divides the nation if something is not done about it. The gun control law should be reevaluated and guns made hard for people to get it, both adult and children. If not, some will use the gun and kill who ever they want and claim insanity defense or hire powerful lawyers to defend and get them out. That will further divide and create fear among us.
• I strongly believe the matter of faith should not divide the nation. Those who profess faith of any kind in America, should they practice it and not be bias and feel arrogant and superior, which is antithesis of faith, and accept each other and love and pray for each other, then, they will be peace among ourselves: black or white, poor or rich, we need each other and can’t do without each other as a nation. This kind of attitude fosters peace.
Peace In The Middle East:
If our leaders, World Powers will seek peace, not conflict or war, we shall have tranquility, rest and global progress. World Powers who rule us and suppose to mediate peace in the Middle East are deeply entrenched in arms sale, a global problem destroying Third World Rich Resourceful Nations. On July 27, 2012, BBC reports: US followed by Russia and China have just pulled out of an international arms treaty to curb a global arm sale. That takes the lives of 750,000 people every year. They said they needed more time to consider it.
Why did they back out? This is because of the financial gains they make in the horrible gun sale. It is estimated that the global arm sale is worth 60 to 70 billion dollars yearly. Russia is supplying arms to Syria; China is enriching her self with Sudanese oil and supplying them with guns to kill themselves; America has supplied many middle East nations with billions of arms: Saudi Arabia just received 60 billion worth of arms few years ago, Iraq a mess with terror attack every minute received 11 billion; Israel receives billions of dollars worth of arms from US, and few days ago, Israel received millions of dollars worth of arms from America. All these arms in a little place like Middle East, creating a fertile ground for Third World Nuclear War?
Where is the peace in the heart of these leaders? They are not qualified to talk of peace: selling these arms to those vulnerable Third World Nations because of oil? Everyone of these World Powers has favorite nations they support. These World Powers are disqualified in mediating peace in the Middle East or African Nations because they are partial and bias in the Middle East, and all they want is oil and nothing else. Then the oppressive leaders use the profusion of guns sold to them to threaten and hold their people bound and maintain the interest of World Powers. Kofi Annan has just resigned in mediating peace in Syria because he thinks United Nations made up of these powerful nations are not united. All they want is sell their guns and control oil resources of Third World Nations. It doesn’t matter to them who dies or lives. As long as they get their oil and the war is not fought in their nations.
Where is God’s peace in their hearts? They talk about peace, but is far from their hearts. Peace means absence of conflict and tranquility. Peace means obedience to God’s will. Where is the peace in these leaders? As long as the war is not fought in their nations, it is aright. They will do anything not to allow the war to come to their nations. Prime Minister of Israel Netanyahu told America it is not enough to sanction Iran, but more to go all the way militarily, and America promises “all options on the table.” She does not want Iran to develop nuclear weapons, yet, she has 150 nuclear weapons. Where are we heading to? Where is the world heading to? Have we become so bloody and love blood? Where is God’s peace? Where is the conscience of these men? Many of them go to temples, mosques and Churches. What is God teaching you or telling you when you go? Is not about peace? Why are you not obeying the voice of the Lord?
Where Is Peace?
Can you hear the restlessness gripping our societies, communities, and the world? There is fear: the bomb threats, the gun threats, the hate for politicians and outside of it; the hate for each other. The Church a means of saving power for the world is not doing it; Congress, a means of helping the people is locked up in conflict. Some will rather see the nation fall than accept the man God has given to them, elected overwhelmingly. He is despised, hated, ridiculed and his government classified as “gangster government” since he took office. The ridicule has continued and prohibited Democrats and Republicans working hard together to create jobs for millions of Americans: and job bills lying in Congress that could have helped the people. It is all about who rules; not realizing these things are in God's hands.”These things don’t make for peace and is increasing the fear, not only in America, but globally. Whatever affects America affects the world.
Do We Want Peace?
Then, let us lay aside our differences, arrogance, white and black, poor and rich and humble ourselves and seek the way of peace. Let us come back to God. He will restore peace back to us. Peace is not found in money; sex, intellectual pursuits, political schemes, fame, etc. Peace is only found in Salvation provided by Jesus Christ and obedience to His will. As we search our hearts, repent and change our ways, God will restore peace to us individually and collectively. So we are able to live with each other in peace: in or families, communities and societies. Then, we can lead globally. How can you mediate peace when you don’t have peace yourself? That is why global peace, especially in Middle East has again and again failed because it is full of bias and partiality. World Powers don't genuinely care about anybody there except the oil.
When you have God’s peace, you see others as God’s sees them. You want to love and reconcile others as God reconciled you through His death on the cross: and loved you unconditionally and gave you peace. You want to give that back to people. You don’t just love people because they are your friends and families, but you see them as God sees them. This kind of peace will restore tranquility and global rest to all of us.