These are difficult days. We keep hearing about the atrocities and violence of wars around the world. Barbarism is reported. Terrorism happens and is threatened over and over. So we pray for peace in the world. We pray for peace in our community. We pray for peace in our homes. We peace in our individual hearts.
We need peace badly! We don’t have to look very far to learn that our world is not at peace.
Not having problems is not necessarily the way to measure peace. Norman Vincent Peale told a story of running into a man named George as he was walking down the street. George was usually a very glum individual, with a negative outlook on life. That day was no exception. When Peale asked him how he was, George said: “I’ve got nothing but problems. If you could get rid of all my problems, I’d give $5,000 to your church.” Peale said to him: “Yesterday, I went to a place where thousands of people reside. Not one of them has any problems. Would you like to go there?” George responded quickly, “When can we leave?” Peale said: “Tomorrow morning would be great. I’ll be talking my walk at Woodlawn cemetery. You see, all the people who don’t have problems are dead.”
Paul understand peace as he demonstrated in his letter to the Philippians: “I have learned to be content WHATEVER the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need. I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
The one who gives suck strength is Jesus Christ! Paul knew the peace that Christ gives. “I have learned to have peace WHATEVER the circumstance.” Paul certainly wasn’t “happy” with the problems of his life, But, in Christ, Paul was at peace. In Christ, we, too, can be at peace, in times of joy and in times of trouble.
Here’s a practical thought: don’t neglect saying the very words of Jesus to others on a regular basis: “Peace be with you.” Make sure you’re saying to those you love, “I love you.” Say to those who has hurt you, “I forgive you.” Say to those you hurt, “I’m sorry.
Dear God, let there be peace in all the earth. Let there be peace in our community. Let there be peace in our homes. Let there be peace in our hearts. In the name of Jesus. Amen.