*takes a deep breath*
Visualize world peace.
There’s a sign in my dentist’s office that says just that. “Visualize World Peace”.
That sounds good, right?
Well, it seems so…but here’s the thing.
Peace, many times, is mistaken for a lack of conflict.
Therefore, it stands to reason that if there is peace, there is stability. If there is no conflict or apparent danger, there is peace.
According to the Bible, however, that’s not really true.
In John 16:33, Jesus says,
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Here, Jesus is talking to His disciples. And He just dispelled a myth about peace. Jesus says that in Him, we can have peace. Notice that He confirms that in this world, there will be tribulation. (Think of this as conflict mixed with really hard times and trials. Not exactly pleasant.)
Yet, we still can have peace. Why? Jesus has overcome the world.
But what does that mean?
I’m big on explanations (if you haven’t noticed).
Jesus overcame Satan, the Prince of this world. He overcame sin’s power over us. He restored the peace we can have with God.
Peace is like an apple. (What?)
Imagine that the inside (core) of an apple is like the “inside” of us. If we have internal non-peace (which will rot the inside of us), that will eventually result in the “outside” of us being rotten and non-peaceful. Likewise, our inner peace – coming from a relationship with God – will result in a fresh apple, because no apple rots from the outside in.
That might not have made a lot of sense.
My point is, we have hard times in the world and outer non-peace (insecurity). Because the world as a whole does not have Jesus, the world as a whole does not have true peace.
You cannot do ten thousand hours of meditation and spiritual rituals to achieve inner peace.
You cannot buy enough stuff to achieve happiness or peace.
You cannot cut out all wars in the world to achieve world peace.
There is no magic handbook that you can follow to convert the world to be a conflict-free place (although you’ll get those claims).
The chance of having a “peaceful” world seems really hopeless, right?
However, there is a clause. (I’ve always wanted to say that!)
Inner peace for the Christian is possible through Jesus. This peace is a restored communion with God. An assurance of security and fellowship with Christ. We can rest in Him; He is our safe place.
Paul writes in Colossians 3:15,
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
We can let His true and lasting peace rule in our hearts.
The world does not know true peace. Until Jesus comes again, true world peace will be promised by many and fulfilled by none.
But we are secure in Christ, which produces our only real peace.
Isn’t that the only kind of peace we should want?