God’s Peace Vs World Peace

We live in a broken world full of evil and injustice at every turn. The calls and cries for peace and equal rights have never been louder. Yet, quite to the contrary, we witness only more violence and atrocities. The effects of the Fall (Genesis 3:1-24), which brought a consciousness of sin and led to man hiding from God (Genesis 3:8-10), have never been more acutely felt. Peace is indeed the most elusive of man’s desires. Why? Because things are not as they should have been.

The good news, however, is that after many years of man’s inherent and willful failure, God provided a way out through Christ’s advent. Jesus said, as recorded in John 14:27 that he is giving us peace, unlike what the world gives and that our hearts should not be troubled at all. There is a peace that is not true peace. It is up to us to consider carefully and choose which path we would rather walk. 

World Peace 

The United Nations is one of the bodies known worldwide for peacekeeping, especially in war-torn countries. Nations go to the UN with cases of human rights violations by leaders, mafia groups, and other peace-robbing people. Considering what we see daily, we must wonder if world peace is attainable. What is it about ‘world peace’ that we need to understand so that we don’t become like men running after the wind?

Resources

World peace is based on resources—the things we have at our disposal that we use to get other things done. The world’s way of life focuses on several types of resources to achieve peace. The top two of them are weapons of war and money. 

A nation is deemed powerful and secure if it has weapons of war in its numbers. Many Big Brother countries have secret weapons of war that they have developed to use during a ‘rainy day’. Weapons of mass destruction–atomic bombs–are the things to have for nations to consider themselves secure and at peace. With weapons come the number of foot soldiers or army. Nations boast of the vast numbers of soldiers in camps and offshore bases. But we all know these are compromiseable–regardless of how trained they may be—and everything human is indeed fallible. 

Secondly, there is money. Nations consider themselves secure because of their financial strength. We must agree that money can improve things in life but cannot buy peace. Just as the realities of life, money comes and goes. When people allow money to determine their peace, they set themselves up for heartbreak, pain, and failure in days to come. Though money can sort out many things, it can never solve the issues of the human heart and bring calmness and peace. Jeremiah warns us against trusting in our might, wisdom, and riches (Jeremiah 9:23) because they are fleeting. Psalm 33:16-17 also echoes that these things can neither bring salvation nor peace. 

Personal Ability

The other thing the world looks to for peace is personal abilities. Men and women focus so much on what they can do and how good they are at executing duties. It is important to work smart and with a touch of perfection. However, we must realize that our abilities are very unreliable. Today, we may be able to fulfil certain duties, and tomorrow, all our capacity goes due to unavoidable circumstances. We can all testify that our abilities have never brought us the peace we long to have, especially when times are turbulent. The world says, ‘Be your best version; perform to the best of your abilities; ace it all through, and you will find peace and rest.” The sad bit is that, though we are aware of our limitations, we still believe that somehow we can achieve peace through these limited capacities.  

An Uncertain Hope

World peace ideologies fail us because they give an uncertain sense of hope. We realize, while at it, that we must work for it. Hope, by definition, is a feeling of expectation and desire for something to happen (Oxford Dictionary). When we say ‘I hope to come’, we are not giving an assurance but an expectation that may change due to other unavoidable external factors. Such an expectation is wobbly, and we cannot objectively live under such uncertainties and think we will find peace of heart and mind. Real hope comes from the Lord with whom there is no shadow of turning (James 1:17). 

Absence of Trouble

Unregenerate people only enjoy ‘peace’ in the absence of trouble and calamity. However, the truth is that there is not a single day in humanity’s existence that we shall live without calamity and trouble. For us to think we can have societies and communities here on earth devoid of trouble and calamity is absurd. The Lord Jesus Christ said that we shall have tribulations (John 16:33) as we journey through this earth. Looking around us, we cannot help but notice the bombings, beheadings, corruptions, impunities and other vile things. Homes have challenges; even in churches, there are strains and politics. Is it possible to live in a world that is devoid of sin? 

God’s Peace

Enter God’s peace, which heavily contrasts with world peace. Unlike the UN, God does not need the coming together of world powers to achieve his goal of peace. Jesus told the disciples that his peace is not like the world’s (John 14:27). Having examined what world peace looks like, we must understand God’s peace and why it is our most reliable option. 

Relationship

First, God’s peace starts at a point of relationship, not just activities. Paul says that we who were far off have been brought close by the blood of Christ and now have peace with God (Ephesians 2:11-17). In Romans 5:1 onwards, we see that it is through our justification in Christ and by Christ that we have peace with God. This justifying work of Christ gives us a righteousness apart from the Law (Philippians 3:8-9) as we respond to the gospel (Romans 1:17), which causes all these things to be fulfilled in us. There is no room to consider that a man/woman can claim to know God’s peace without a functional relationship with Christ. How does this bring us peace? Because it gives us the best assurance that in this life and the next, our lives are safe in the arms of our eternal Father (Romans 14:8). 

God’s Wonderful Gift

Secondly, God’s peace means that we get to share in his wonderful gift–the grace of God given to us every step of the way. The grace of God is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14), who has promised never to leave nor forsake us (Matthew 28:20, Deuteronomy 31:8). It is in this provision that the believer (though the world may be crumbling around him) can walk with his head held high for the living Saviour is with him. This mindset brings immense peace. And if Christ is with us, then we know for sure that the presence of God abides.

The Presence of God

Believers enjoy peace in spite of trouble, trials and calamity because of the presence of the power of the Holy Spirit. Knowing that in pastures green and still waters (Psalm 23:2-3), God is by our side is the most satisfying reality for the believer. Our hearts can rest easy because we know God is with us. Not only that but also knowing that in the presence of our enemies and right in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4-5), God is right there with the believer is a restful thought. God’s incredible presence is the believer’s source of peace, which does not depend on how much trouble we encounter. Peace is God’s presence, so the believer can say with the psalmist, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”

The world’s narrative of peace is marred with great uncertainties while also being temporary and fleeting. All the efforts we put in this world to achieve a peaceful state of heart and mind will not suffice. Men’s hearts need something more than physical assurance because the physical things are temporary (2 Corinthians 4:18), but the unseen things are eternal. The peace of God is what calms the human soul despite the trials and troubles that may assail us. May the peace of God reign over our lives till the Kingdom comes!

References

How did the Fall affect humanity? | GotQuestions.org

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