AN ILLUSIVE PEACE

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During these unusual and unprecedented days, when fear, worry, panic and depression take over our thoughts, and lockdowns, supply shortages and uncertainty leave us feeling stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, peace is the thing we most need, the thing we most long for.  We just want things to return to normal.  We want life to be as it was before last January.  It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t always peaceful, but …

Achieving peace seems to be a continuous journey many of us are on.  We hear it in political speeches:  “Peace for our time, peace in our time.” At Christmas, we sing with longing, “Peace on earth, good will toward men.”

Neville Chamberlain, British Prime Minister from 1937 – 1940, desperately wanted peace for his time.  He wanted to appease Germany’s aggression in Europe, and avoid another world war.   He thought it was horrible and incredible that the Brits were digging trenches and trying on gas masks, “Because of a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom they knew nothing.”

Chamberlain was hopelessly, dangerously naïve about Hitler’s intentions. Returning home from Germany, in September 1938, he spoke to his fellow Englishmen telling them that he had returned from talks with Hitler, bringing “peace with honor.” 

He said, “I believe it is peace for our time…Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.”

People wanted to believe him.  It had been only twenty years since the end of WWI and its unimaginable horror.  Now they could see the end of the Great Depression, so they certainly did not want another war.

Chamberlain desired above all things to find a peaceful solution to Hitler’s wish to create a new enlarged German homeland.  He would try in every way to figure out the problems and remove them.  He thought, by discussion and in a spirit of collaboration and good will, he could change Hitler’s wish.  

However, the enemy would not be appeased.  A year later, Hitler referred to the agreement with Chamberlain as just a “scrap of paper,” and invaded Poland, and the war was on.  

Mankind has been trying to find peace ever since the war between Cain and Abel.  It doesn’t matter how diligently we have searched, we still haven’t found it.  War rages continually in one place or another.

Since the Civil War our wars have always been fought on foreign soil—not so today.  We are waging war in our own streets.  While I believe in the right to protest, I do not believe in the right to riot, loot, kill and burn.  While I believe that renegade cops must be punished and dismissed from the ranks, I do not believe that this nation can function safely and efficiently without a police presence.  There is no semblance of peace in our land today.

Peace is first and foremost a personal, individual state of being.  The word “Peace” denotes a personality free from internal or external strife. Peace will never encompass this world until I am at peace.  Only when I am in a quiet, tranquil state, when I am free from troubling or oppressive thoughts or emotions, only when I am in harmony with personal relations—when this kind of peace possesses mankind, only then will this world be at peace.

I am not implying that peace is possible only when life offers no problems.   That’s never going to happen.

Ronald Reagan said, “Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”  I am not able to handle conflict by peaceful means, if peace does not reign in my life.

Lasting peace is not achieved through discussions, collaboration and easily broken agreements.  Some would have you believe that you can create your own peace.  I don’t really believe that.  If it were possible, we would have conquered this thing ages ago.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.”

Someone else has said, “When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives.  Be it.  Live it.  Radiate it out.”

How do you do that?  I cannot create my own peace.  God is the only one who can give us perfect, lasting peace.  He is our source.

In Isaiah 9:6, we read, “For unto us a child is born…and His name shall be called…Prince of Peace.”

In John 14:27, Jesus says to us, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.”

Again, in Philippians 4:7, we are encouraged, “…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.”

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on You, because he trusts in You.”

That’s the secret!  Fix your mind on God.  Love and obey His law.  Regardless of the circumstances, trust in Him, and that surpassing peace will reign in your heart and life. You can be at peace in the middle of this time of uncertainty and unrest.

PEACE IS AN INSIDE JOB!

 

REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW!