Peace. Why is it so hard to attain? Why can’t we, humans, get along with one another? Even peace within our own hearts seems out of reach.
Did you know anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety — roughly 18 percent of the nation’s population.
But isn’t a blog about anxiety – it’s about peace. As far back in the history of humanity, Biblically speaking, (although I’m sure natural history would concur), people have had disharmony in relationships.
In the third chapter of Genesis, Adam and Eve break trust with God disobeying his only command. The consequences of which included enmity between husband and wife and between their offspring…in the next chapter the first two siblings have such a rivalry that Cain kills his brother Abel…And so it began.
We are their descendants and continue the legacy, generation after generation. Some claim to have solutions – the right kind of government, more equitable distribution of earth’s resources, better education, eradication of religion, et cetera ad nauseam. Many of these propositions have been tried, but wars, coups, murders, disputes, divorces, continue.
So what is the problem? The only place I find a relevant and plausible answer is in the Bible.
- The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV)
- Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. (Romans 2:1 ESV)
- …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 ESV)
We have a nature which is predisposed to rebellion, and death in all our relationships is the result. Beginning with our relationship with God.
We try to do good works, to love our neighbors, to serve the community, but we don’t have the power to restore peace as long as another person is involved. Not to mention the fact the effort is exhausting and impossible to sustain and often ends in disappointment. At least this has been my experience.
There is a solution though, and it is also found in God’s word.
- Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 ESV)
- O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works. (Ephesians 26:12 ESV)
- When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7 ESV)
God sacrificed himself in the person of Jesus Christ, redeeming us by exchanging his pure life for our tainted one. God’s reconciliation bears the fruit of peace – true peace which surpasses understanding. Unaffected by circumstance, this peace begins in our hearts and moves outward into our relationships with others.
Trusting God, then is the first step to life-changing, no world-changing peace!
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3 ESV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27 ESV)