My thoughts this year were along the same lines as last year, so I figured I may as well just repost. The truths are timeless.
I have been tagged by several bloggers to participate in a “Blog Blast for Peace.” I am afraid they might be a little disappointed, though, because I can’t do it exactly like what they have in mind.
There are two reasons. One, I don’t think world peace will come because bloggers or others write about how much we want it. And two, the conflicts between nations stem from the same conflicts in individual human hearts.
James 4:1-3 (NKJV) says,
1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Wars come, ultimately, because nations lust, primarily for power or property. Of course, sometimes nations go to war to defend against that lust of other nations as Great Britain and the USA did against the Nazi regime. I think in some cases like that war is justified though every diplomatic means should be employed first.
But the point is, wars occur for the same reason individual human conflicts occur, and they won’t cease until individual human conflict ceases. And human conflict will not cease until human hearts are changed.
Ephesians 2: 13-18 says:
13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” In John 16:33 He says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
In studying Bible prophecy, it is only when Christ comes to reign that there will be peace on earth. In fact the passage that says “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” is in a prophetic section talking about the reign of Christ. As it gets closer to that time, He said, in Matthew 24:
5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Until that time, though, individual believers can have peace with Him, first, and then peace with others. As the Ephesians 2 passage mentioned above, Christ Jesus made peace for those who will believe on Him by offering Himself, shedding His blood to suffer the punishment for those sins and redeem us.
Psalm 85:10 says, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” If a judge set free a guilty man out of mercy, we would say that wasn’t just — especially if we were the ones sinned against by the guilty man. But because Jesus took those sins on Himself and paid the penalty for them, He satisfied the demands for justice, and God is now able to grant mercy, and thereby peace, to those who believe on Christ as Lord and Savior.
Colossians 1 says,
19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
And then once we believe on Him, we have His peace in our hearts. Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”
Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
And once we have His peace in our hearts, we can have peace with others. Galatians 5:22-23a says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance.” Colossians 3:14-15 says, “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (II Timothy 2:22). “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:6 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Certainly we do need to speak up against unjust wars, and it is good to be a peacemaker, but total peace won’t come until the Prince of Peace reigns, in individual hearts and in nations.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13.
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” II Peter 3:14.