A Peace the World Cannot Give
By Rev. Robert Fleischmann, National Director, Christian Life Resources
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)
When I was growing up, my most enduring memory of all the worship services my family attended was the Prayer for Peace in the Order of Vespers – an evening service. That prayer went like this:
O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed, give unto Thy servants that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that we, being defended by thee, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Why did those words stick? Part of the reason is the rhythm: “… that we, being defended by thee…” just sticks! The real reason is its profound truth.
Think about it! If the prayer is true, then it is no wonder there is so much discord in the world as people scramble to find peace.
Without this “otherworld” peace, we are left to make it happen here. Some take steps to insulate themselves from the infirmities of the human condition. They want comfort, and they believe that with a little money comes a little comfort, and with more money comes more comfort. That is “good news” often includes things like a good pay raise, a well-performing stock, or the resale of property for a bigger profit. But how much is enough?
People want the most freedom, but what if my freedom interferes with your freedom? Where is the line? Who decides? Is it just a matter of majority opinion?
People want to be happy. They presume freedom brings happiness. So does more money. So do advantageous laws, and good rulers, and so forth. But when are we there? When have do we reach the pinnacle of sustained happiness?
In the pursuit of this worldly illusion of peace sometimes unborn children die. Sometimes Grandpa is ignored in the assisted living center while the family pursues those things which we think will bring us peace.
C.S. Lewis observed, “God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from himself because there is no such thing.”
There is no such thing!
Yes, it does feel like a godless society at times, but don’t be so general. Society is nothing more than the summation of its individuals. A society becomes godless because its people become godless. When there is no God to reveal and deliver happiness and freedom, we have no peace.
A world without God looks to create its own peace. Yet, the solution is not less God, but more God. Jesus said. “Peace I give to you.” Instead of trying to create heaven on earth, embrace the eternal peace you already have – the peace the world cannot give. Paul wrote,
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38–39)
Peace is a state of mind centered on eternity in heaven. For that reason, when we set out to save unborn children and unwanted adults, we not only want to save lives. We want to bring peace that the world cannot give. Everything we do at Christian Life Resources seeks to envelop the troubles of life within the context of eternal peace. To do that we talk about Jesus – who is the peace the world cannot give.
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