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The Need For Peace
“Peace is always beautiful.” – Walt Whitman
I think we all would agree with the original American poet, Walt Whitman, that peace is a wonderful thing and that we need more of it in this world. Yet nothing has proven to be more elusive to us in human history than achieving peace. We don’t have to look very far to see that all is not well and peaceful:
- Our history is marked with conflict…
- Our politics and governments are adversarial…
- Our social media landscape is toxic and mean-spirited…
- Our streets are filled with unrest…
- Our families are split and homes are fractured…
The one thing we all have in common is our desire for peace in our lives. This need for peace and our pursuit of it has been universal, yet here we are in the 21st century grasping to find it. It seems every segment of society lacks peace even though this is what we all desperately seek. How did we find ourselves in such a troubled place?
I did a brief scan of the web to search for inspiring quotes about peace from famous historical figures and world leaders such as the Dali Lama, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa. While there were inspiring thoughts to be found, the majority of these many quotes were people still struggling for an answer to finding peace in the world. Peace seems so remote that it’s become cliché today to even mention “world peace”.
If we would like to see an end to the fighting around us and if history is our guide, it’s apparent we won’t be able to look to the world to produce a solution.
Evangelist Billy Graham, who was a spiritual advisor to 12 U.S. presidents from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama said:
“The world doesn’t give peace, for it doesn’t have any peace to give. It fights for peace, it negotiates for peace, it maneuvers for peace, but there is no ultimate peace in the world.”
If Billy Graham is right that there is no ultimate peace in the world, then where can peace ultimately be found? Let’s start with this question:
Where’s the conflict coming from?
James Chapter 4:1-2 (CSB) asks the same:
“What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from your passions that wage war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and wage war.”
Could it be that the biggest battles in the history of the world have been the ones raging within our own hearts? That our inward turmoil creates the outward turmoil?
James recognized that war exists within the human heart. It’s the conflict in our souls and our discontented human condition that projects the unrest we witness all around us. Since the fall of Adam and Eve we have not been at peace with ourselves, with each other or with God.
Where does peace come from?
If we can’t find peace in the world, where can we find it? I noticed a popular quote often shared on social media from 19th-century philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson that says, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” At first glance, this seems inspiring – that we have the power to bring ourselves peace. However, if it’s true that we can be the source of inner peace for ourselves and the world, then surely we would have figured out world peace by now. If, as James says in scripture, we are the cause of the war and fighting we see around us, then the source of the problem can’t be the source of the solution. We can’t find true peace if we just look within ourselves.
Here’s the rest of Billy Graham’s quote:
“The world doesn’t give peace, for it doesn’t have any peace to give. It fights for peace, it negotiates for peace, it maneuvers for peace, but there is no ultimate peace in the world. But Jesus gives peace to those who put their trust in Him.”
Jesus is the source of peace
In John 14:27 (TPT), Jesus promised this to all who would trust Him, “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace.”
The moment we put our faith in Jesus Christ, scripture says we now have peace with God. Having made peace with God allows us to have peace with ourselves and with each other.
Ephesians 2:14 (NIRV) says, “Christ himself is our peace…He has destroyed the hatred that was like a wall between us.”
If you have never made peace with God, this is something we all must do. I invite you to pray this prayer out loud:
“Dear God, I desire to have peace with you. I’ve looked everywhere for peace but haven’t found it. Come into my life and reveal yourself to me. I put my trust in Jesus Christ to give me this peace and to make me a new person.”
If you prayed this prayer, we would love to support you in this new life of faith as you experience God’s peace. Click HERE for next steps.
Also, if the “Pray With A Pastor” button is visible on your screen, you may click now to pray with one of us and be encouraged in your next steps.