Want Peace?

This is the day the Lord has made we should rejoice and be glad in it!

While enduring the horrors of the concentration camp in 1943, Dutch author Etty Hillesumwrote these profound words in her diary as she sought to banish worry,

Ultimately we have just one moral duty; to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves—Etty  Hillesum.

Ms. HIllesum fully understood what Jesus meant when He declared,

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34)

Ms. Hillisum certainly understood that life can bring great frustration and pain.  She experienced continual danger, humiliation, and pain while being in a concentration camp.  However, Ms. Hillisum realized something that many of us do not; the only thing that she could control was her own attitude and mind. Worry and anxiety would only sap her strength.

Worry is a false god that promises control; but worry merely opens the door to the spirits of fear and anxiety and robs a person of hope. As Jesus said,

  “Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27).

Worry, anxiety, fear—these attitudes and the spirits that come into a person through these attitudes are thieves and deceivers. They never bring peace.

Many people have claimed to know the way to peace. However, Jesus said that He would give us peace.

Peace I leave you; My peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid [John 14:27, Berean Study Bible].

 What is this peace that Jesus promises consist of?

  • a state of national tranquility; exemption from the rage and havoc of war: Revelations 6:4
  • peace between individuals,i.e. harmony, concord
  • security, safety, prosperity, felicity,(because peace and harmony make and keep things safe      and prosperous): 
  • Specifically, the Messiah's peace:  the way that leads to peace (salvation), peace, salvation, is prepared for us in heaven, 
  •  according to a conception distinctly peculiar to Christianity, "the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is":  used of those who, assured of salvation, tranquilly await the return of Christ and the transformation of all things which will accompany that event [Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, https://www.biblehub.com/greek/1515.htm]

 Ultimately peace comes when we know, walk with, obey, and submit our life to the Prince of peace. When we do so, when we accept Jesus as both Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit comes to help us.  We then discover that 

for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:26-30).

Thus, when we shift our focus from ourselves but upon the Lord, when we begin to trust Him to lead and guide us through His Spirit, we begin to experience peace.  As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, as we begin to know His kindness, His greatness, and to marvel at His power and glory, our fears grow anxiety lessen, because our focus shifts from ourselves to God and eternity. Like David, we discover that our “shepherd” (Psalm 23:1) will restore our souls (Psalm 23:3), and we can say,

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). . . . “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).

How many of us however want peace but do not want the Prince of Peace!

You cannot have true peace, the type of peace that remains even middle of conflict and troubles,  if you do not acknowledge the Prince of Peace.



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