In the midst of the many conflicts of life, the human heart often cries out for the peace it desires, peace and rest from the struggles and trials experienced by so many on a daily basis.
The human mind deals with the lack of peace in one’s life in various ways. Some people strike out in anger and force in an effort to demand peace. Some people withdraw into solitude to effect peace by their absence from the struggle. Others strive to intervene with words and philosophy to enlighten combatants to the merits of peace. However humans respond to conflict and the absence of peace, we all have one thing in common, the desire for peace.
Over the centuries, humans have engaged in religious and social issue conflicts, robbing the peace of many. The Scripture has been used and misused so many times to justify wars and persecutions of others, so much so, that many today have left off using them as a standard for truth in general. There is political and social peace that is created outwardly and tangibly by secular agreements, but real peace in humanity can only be had inwardly within the spiritual realm of the soul.
The Psalmist speaks of this ‘Great Peace’ in Ps. 119:165 when he writes, ‘Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.’
So many social and political problems in society seem to necessitate physical and tangible solutions, but how much peace, or great peace could be had if those in conflict were to focus on loving the law of God? This, at first glance, might seem over-pious and too religiously zealous for the stomachs of many secularized peoples, but if the Psalmists injunction were to be taken seriously, even starting with one individual in a community, how much difference could this really make?
I believe by faith that if an individual would truly follow the teachings of Jesus Christ with their whole heart, great peace can be achieved in this life and in the one to come.
Jesus taught a reverence for the Law of God, he spoke always of doing the ‘will of the Father’ and yet we who claim to be ‘Christians’ so often get caught up with trying to effect peace in our own ways.
What about loving our neighbour as ourself? I for one, am certainly guilty many times over of letting myself not be as kind, or loving, or patient with others as I would prefer to have them treat me…. Perhaps humanity would be greater served by hearing the teachings of Jesus regarding peace and what the Scriptures have to say about having it, rather than all the efforts that are made socially and politically? Certainly there are merits in some social and political advocacy, but should not the primary focus of Christians be to witness to the testimony of peace that can only truly be had through loving the law of Christ in obedience? Many bristle at the word obedience today because it reminds them of harsh conformity to order and somehow insinuates lack of freedom of expression or spirit. However, history clearly shows that the endurance of principles has always been amongst those committed to their obedience.
I certainly do not have all the answers to the world’s social and political problems. I do not claim to be able to repair broken family relationships, or heal nations economic and social concerns, but I do believe in the power of the witness of truth through the Holy Spirit. If just one person can be genuinely encouraged to take a stand for peace, others will be strengthened to follow.
I hope that in these coming days, I might be mindful to hear the Spirits wooing and heed the teachings of Christ more fully to be strengthened to stand in the love of the Law of God, His Truth, so that great peace will be had and shared in my life and the lives I touch.
May we be encouraged in the Light.
Peace and Blessings,