FINDING PERFECT PEACE

Jun
2019
08

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“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14).

As I took my daily walk around the local park, it suddenly occurred to me that something was not quite right. Then I realized that the normally tranquil path which is usually populated with squirrels, chipmunks and ducks by the creek had, on this day, been occupied with noise all around me. There was power equipment from the conservation corps who were clearing brush and sawing up dead tree limbs. Somewhere in the distance was a mower, and there were numerous sirens from emergency service personnel rushing by on the upper road responding to their latest crisis.  Their alarms had caused dogs from houses across the creek to bark and make their presence known. It was not a time for a peaceful walk, at least not on this day in this area of town.

Then I paused and felt a little guilty, realizing that there are those who seldom have the opportunity to find an escape to any form of quietude. It was just a day or so later that I appreciated the fact that lasting peace is often relevant to our world situation. It happened to be June 6, and across the globe many were remembering the Allied invasion of Normandy, France . . . often referred to as D-Day. In 1944, much of Europe had been occupied by the German Nazi forces of Adolf Hitler. It took months for the largest seaborne invasion in history to once-again free these nations. The Normandy invasion began to turn the tide, and the war was formally ended the following spring after millions had lost their lives. In the aftermath of the deadliest military conflict ever witnessed, nations regained their sovereignty and peace was restored. It raises the question – if peace is the absence of war, then what is true peace? The Old Testament prophet put it this way, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

While peace hopefully returns to nations following years of conflict and great human sacrifice, most boroughs and municipalities find it necessary to hire folks who maintain the peace. These include any person who works in the public-sector and is given the responsibility to uphold the laws of the land. Examples are customs officials, police officers, sheriffs, constables, deputies, and correction officers who enforce the regulations that support peace in our towns, neighborhoods, and occasionally within our own households. There are those who go through life never finding peace in their personal lives, and they sometimes create less than peaceful situations for their families. They could learn from the wisdom shared in God’s Word: “Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict” (Proverbs 17:1). Many individuals spend much time and energy searching to find fulfillment. Far too often, they never come to understand that the real way to happiness and a good life is only through finding one’s own personal peace.

True peace can only come from God who grants His children a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). This peace doesn’t affect our surroundings; rather it touches our inner souls. Paul affirmed that it will go deep into our hearts and minds and that it will unite all parties as one. Referring specifically to the Gentiles and Jews, he stated – “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14). If you have His peace, then you can start solving the conflict around you. As followers of Jesus, we should be the ones looked to when others need peace. Not necessarily because our surroundings are peaceful, but because our hearts and minds are at peace with God. Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27). It is possible to experience God’s peace, for when we learn to cast our cares on Him – faith will replace fear and discontent. Living a peace-filled life comes down to a choice to follow Him or not. For, you see, He alone is the only officer who can maintain perfect peace . . . all others will fail in comparison.

REFLECTION: Where does your peace come from? What is the inevitable result of peace made based on external conditions? How would you go about encouraging others who seem to always have a stressed life and find it seemingly impossible to find an inner peace?

A NEW LOOKUP  DEVOTION IS UPLOADED EACH WEEK. THE NEXT WEEKLY POSTING WILL BE ON SAT., JUNE 15, 2019. COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.

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